Thursday, October 23, 2014

Have You Designed a Car without an Engine Today?

Half baked ideas? No, they were completely baked and ready to go....except for a strategic piece. Lost in translation or just lost in space, hard to know sometimes where to assign the lack of accountability.

A Cloud solution that is not quite ready for the Enterprise or an application that you are working on when you suddenly realize no one thought about who would use the solution, let alone, why they need it.

Governments, countries, airports and many organizations run into this it seems more often today than ever before. The site, Why Projects Fail, might be useful to you.

Imagine if in walks your business leader with an announcement of a cool new car they dreamed up for the company to produce. It's just a drawing right now, maybe a clay model, but they have a vision!. They have searched out some vendors that promise to make everything nice and clean, like never before, and they asked to let them do everything so the leader can focus on the end game. Agreements are made and a date set to expect everything to be ready for the "1st auto show of the year".

Shortly before the eagerly expected date, the leader calls the vendor and asks if everything is ready. They reply, yes, of course, we made sure you have roads from your office to the show. The leader is confused and asks, where is the engine for the car we designed? The vendor replies no one said anything about the engine, we provide the roads for you to drive and look how nice they are all black and smooth topped."Where's my engine!?" screams the leader. Engine? Replies the vendor, we don't do engines.
I have been in numerous meetings over the years where parts of these discussions went on and I wondered why it happened in the first place.

Would better meetings help? Would an ESN like IBM Connections or Microsoft Sharepoint or Jive? Was there a problem in Microsoft Project? Not enough project managers? Too few? If you had used a different email system none of this would have happened.

It is easy to be carried away by the excitement of a new project and just as easily to be led astray. Just because the client asks to go to the Cloud does not mean you should block it, or help, without some clear logic and information.

Last night I wrote and compiled a two page list of questions for a client that wants to migrate mail systems... to Domino. I broke up the questions, some 60 or so, into 3 groups, the "old info" , the "future info" and the "co-existence".

The actual list could be 80 pages, like an SUT document I worked on previously, or one page. The questions and answers will come but being prepared is more important.