“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.”

This famous quote, made by general Creighton Williams Abrams Jr. ( 1914 –1974) will be the starting point for todays blog post.

In the article “Så avslöjar du it-projekten som riskerar att haverera” (How to reveal IT projects at risk of collapse) in the Swedish paper Dagens Nyheter, 2014-05-20, 20 IT experts and debaters discuss the inefficiencies and risks in IT projects.

They describe two major challenges with IT projects.

The first challenge is the projects themselves, the size, the timeline and the costs. They refer to a number of projects that have had major problems during the project phase including one or several of the parameters mentioned above.

The second area has more to do with the outcome of the projects. Once the project is done and the solution works in operation they mention a number of cases where the IT solution itself has increased the volume of work and made the ordinary working day harder for the employees rather then the other way around. The authors estimate that the costs related to this kind of inefficiency are very high, 10s of billions of Swedish crowns. In many cases they refer to projects in the public sector resulting in loss of tax payers money. Based on this the authors state that it might be a reason to establish an accident investigation board focusing on IT projects.

There are, however, ways to avoid projects from collapsing. The authors points out two different key success factors:

  1. Always focus on the end users need when building or buying an IT solution.
  2. Build and/or implement IT systems in smaller incremental steps. Launch early and learn how the system is actually used.

We at Barium are doing exactly that:

We always build/configure our solutions based on the end users needs and we include them in the process.

We have rapid stepwise implementations (not a case over 3 months yet) where we at all times learn from the behaviour and continuously adjust and improve.

So if you want to know how to avoid a IT collapse and how to eat an elephant, take one bite at a time don’t hesitate to contact us.

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