Involve Business in Application Rollouts

Ann All

Is IT spending too much time on technology deployments?

Yes, contends this article that appeared in Supply & Demand Chain Executive. The author says lengthy rollouts delay ROI and result in unrealistically high user expectations. Essentially, the longer it takes, the better they expect it to be.

He suggests three strategies for quicker -- and thus more effective -- deployments. Manage expectations. Implement in phases. Get applications into the hands of business users early in the process.

According to this Australia article, faulty requirements management is often the problem -- as much as 71 percent of the time. It offers several examples of CIOs who retooled the requirements process, with stellar results.

One sliced the number of stakeholders involved from 40 to five. He also put department managers squarely in the middle of the process, making them responsible for sponsoring any needed application changes. Another is a proponent of agile development techniques, which call for bringing developers and users together very early in the process (echoing the recommendation from the Supply & Demand Chain Executive piece).

Another solid strategy for increasing the odds that technology implementations will be successful: Present the benefits in business, rather than technical, terms. One technology company CEO, writing in his blog, says that not doing so can doom technology (in this case, SOA) to "either failure or obscurity."

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