I recently attended a client meeting for a mid-size company to discuss some key business-driven IT initiatives the client wanted to embark on in the next year or so. After talking with the client team about the key disparate program areas they wanted to integrate, as well as the disruptive technology areas they wanted to introduce and “modernize,” with a technology first approach, I advised that they really needed to put some rigor into planning for this level of transformation.
Principles and Prerequisites
I feel that “all-scale” modernization (large, small, medium, or complex) should follow some basic principles and prerequisites before organizations decide to jump into technological decisions, buying expensive licenses for software and hiring boutique companies to piecemeal development, whether it be mobile, cloud-based development or the one-off web service. This approach of piecemeal development will lead to major delays in accomplishing the broader goal of modernization and may lead to re-work, high upfront investment in unnecessary resources and technologies etc.
While this philosophy may seem like I am “preaching to the choir,” I am amazed at how often many organizations believe they can jump right into building applications “on the fly” without a roadmap or any planning.
It is imperative that organizations go through a few key steps before embarking on any change. These basic steps are outlined below and, while not all-inclusive, provide a guide. Organizations can pick and choose the steps that best suit their unique situation.
- Outline business requirements (Functional, Non-Functional)
- Document user cases, user scenarios, wireframes, User needs matrix
- Complete detailed technology (apps, infrastructure etc.) inventory, Portfolio Rationalization exercise
- Develop an IT strategic plan or Enterprise roadmap aligned to business objectives and requirements
- Start with a few small POCs
It’s important to note that I am not advocating that organizations take a slow and non-flexible approach to their business transformation. In fact, quite the contrary – I strongly believe organizations must make smart choices up front to develop an enterprise roadmap based on their business requirements. This will enable them to think smart by planning and adding the innovations necessary upfront, act fast by systematically and seamlessly adding the right pieces in an intelligent way, and build flexibility for the expected and unexpected changes in any dynamic business climate.
Post Date: 10/11/2013