Should we stay or should we go? A Brexit Analogy

The CIO Decision – The Call for the Referendum

The board meets, and the CIO tables a motion that the business should start a large-scale data and analytics project.  ‘It will change the way we operate’ they say, ‘improve efficiencies and prove once and for all that IT is the backbone that keeps the business on an even keel!’ The CIO is so confident that it will work and deliver business value from the start, they will leave if it goes wrong.

Data Analysis – The Campaign

So, the Project is underway, and teams from IT are looking at what could be achieved by using their data more efficiently.  They come up with lots of great ideas, but no-one really looks at or understands the data that the company has, so they work on a number of assumptions and suppositions to deliver a project plan that will deliver huge savings and improve processes across all elements of the business.

The project moves into top gear to deliver its great initial savings to the business.

Business Requirements Gathering – The Referendum

We are now 6 months into the project, and a large 7 figure sum has been invested. However, only now do the cross-functional project teams sit down with real business users to demonstrate their amazing capabilities. The supposed data that should exist to support the project is wrong or doesn’t exist, and business processes are incorrectly documented. Changes that have been rushed through cause system crashes and negatively impacts the business.

The CIO leaves with their reputation in tatters and their no. 2 steps up to the plate to sort out the mess.

Re-Development Phase – The Negotiation

The team on the project has now swollen to over 50, with members from every department in the company involved.  Progress is slow, and there is a need for additional investment from the board to move the project on. They won’t move however, insisting that enough is enough, and they either make do with their current offer or scrap the project entirely.  This annoys the 130 IT contractors that have been brought in to make the project work, and as such, makes life difficult for everyone else.

The new CIO is doing their best, but no-one voted them onto the board so they don’t have any real authority anyway…

User Acceptance Testing – The Deal

Finally, the project team decides to press on with the budget and solution they have, as it is not going to get any better. They push the system into User Acceptance Testing to get things moving, hoping to clear out the bugs in the project whilst meeting their deadline. But guess what; it turns out that no-one is happy with what has been built, as the right people were not asked to be involved.  Lots of key staff have switched roles, and are now only interested in furthering their own aims, and helping their own departments.  The Project Director has to go to the board for a project extension……

Project Sign Off – Who Knows?

How to avoid the above? As I recently presented at the MK Digital Summit; some brief tips on how to get through this:

  • Start with the Data
  • Be honest
  • Create a right team with opinions and voices from across the business
  • Have a strategic goal in sight
  • Be prepared to be flexible
  • Use measurement and reporting to deliver value and metrics
  • if you would like to know more about Zizo, contact Matthew Napleton – sales@zizo.co.uk

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