Be flexible with your system plans

A number of factors can be used to assess and mitigate risk in the design, development, implementation and post-implementation...

A number of factors can be used to assess and mitigate risk in the design, development, implementation and post-implementation phases of a system's lifecycle.

User involvement in a project is inherent to a project's success. Such involvement is required to provide information about the business setting in which a new IT project is to be implemented. However, history shows user involvement is relatively negligible.

There is much debate about flexibility in the continual updating of functional specifications, program design and code. Some flexibility built into the process would ease the tension and make the design and development processes more effective.

Strategic alignment with the business is required for an IT department as a whole and as part of the investment process. "One-time" alignment is not enough. An IT project should support a more comprehensive business project, and that business project should provide business metrics with which the IT project can align.

Large and lengthy IT projects are particularly susceptible to failure. Here the recommended response is to break the project down to develop a reasonable delivery schedule.

In the quick-moving world of technology and IT project delivery, project plans and budgets are usually stripped to the bone. Contingency planning can help establish appropriate expectations on behalf of users and IT staff, as well as to create a more effective working environment.

Delivering IT and E-business Value, by Leslie Willcocks and Valerie Graeser, is part of the Computer Weekly professional series. To order call 01865-474010

e-mail: directorders@elsevier.com
This was last published in March 2004

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