It’s unfortunate that when IT organizations grow, they often find that their perceived value drops due to inefficient product delivery. This, however, is completely preventable by employing the right solutions, allowing IT organizations to demolish roadblocks that decrease the value of project delivery.
Many variables increase inefficiency as a company evolves. Acquisitions and mergers very rarely meet the level of intended integration, and new compliance concerns can increase rigidity and overhead. Shadow IT organizations may not consider downstream impacts of changes to core architecture. Pressure to deliver new functionality can lead to overly complex and redundant architecture that leads to increased costs.
What causes value traps varies from organization to organization. In order to identify what’s holding an organization back, they need to look at all parts of the delivery cycle so that they can develop solutions that can provide a long-term solution. Some of the places to look include these:
Initiation and Strategy
- Volatile ebbs and flows of activity based around the financial planning cycle can cause uneven resource demand that cannot be met.
- Failing to understand expected ROI can cause improper prioritization.
- Poor communication can lead to increased complexity, requirements, and effort necessary.
Planning and Scoping
- Rigid execution methodologies may not take into account the individual project’s needs.
- Improper management of change-approval processes may not consider the impact on the project.
- Unclear ownership can lead to misunderstandings that can lead to dissatisfaction.
- Poor monitoring impacts accountability to delivery the promised value.
- Underplanning for sustainment needs causes increased run costs, resulting in budget issues or poor performance.
- Improper life cycle management leads to sloppy architecture and redundancy, requiring more support needs.
- IT service demand needs a governance process that integrates investment decisions with the human and technical resources needed to execute it.
- Create planning processes that allow for regular evaluation and increased flexibility.
- Prioritize projects and decision making based on value and outcome definitions.
- Monitor and evaluate project performance with these value-based constructs.
- Consolidate accountability.
- Use a flexible project-delivery framework that balances results with risks and outcomes.
- Reward IT leaders with enterprise-level thinking.
- Consider architecture capabilities when beginning upfront project planning.
- Ensure that the delivery model allows for the right cross-functional involvement.
- Create IT metrics and refine them.
By increasing the efficiency of IT project deliveries, CIOs and COOs can provide the demonstrated return on investment necessary to stay competitive and keep their value.