Carlopio waltzes us through an IT project

Mark Lewis reviews the latest book to provide a roadmap for IT roll-out

Mark Lewis reviews the latest book to provide a roadmap for IT roll-out.

Changing Gears seems an unnecessarily mechanical title for a book whose premise hinges upon the human element of the project management equation. Perhaps "Changing Minds" would have been more appropriate?

One of the central planks of Carlopio's informative text is that unless you include all stakeholders at the decision-making stage and carry them with you as you move towards a conclusion, you will never successfully implement new technology into your business systems.

Like footsteps painted on a dance studio floor, successive chapters waltz readers through every stage of a technology implementation, from strategic preparation and research to the ongoing modification and evolution that follows a roll-out.

En route, Carlopio leads a merry dance through technology analysis and selection, the decision-making process leading to acquisition, the issues of buy-in and change management, the persuasion process, preparation for management of the project, installation, and finally implementation.

Carlopio augments his clear text with boxes, bullet-points and charts galore, making this a lesson in accessibility. And nine pages of reference sources featuring management heavyweights, such as Evans and Wurster, Porter, Tapscott and Hamel, underline the authority of his message, proving he hasn't conjured his theories out of the ether.

Embattled IT managers may raise a question mark over the timing of the release of Changing Gears. A book offering advice on wringing greater efficiencies from existing infrastructure might be a better purchase in these uncertain times. But the slowdown cannot last forever, and you would do well to have this book to hand when the market picks up and projects start to get the green light once again. 

Changing Gears: The Strategic Implementation of Technology by James Carlopio is published by Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-0482-0
This was last published in April 2003

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