Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
Commentary
12/14/2007
04:38 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
50%
50%

A CIO Makes A Case For Common Sense

Getting IT projects right isn't rocket science, says Dave Bent, CIO of United Stationers. It's a matter of Project Planning 101.

Getting IT projects right isn't rocket science, says Dave Bent, CIO of United Stationers. It's a matter of Project Planning 101.When I received such a heated response to my blog about the failure of (many, most, all?) IT projects to live up to expectations, I reached out to some acquaintances for their opinions on the subject. One of them was Dave Bent, a great guy and a brilliant CIO. Here's his reply:

Firstly, there is no such thing as an IT project -- there are business projects that leverage technology to enable them. Once businesses understand that fact, then they understand that there must be joint business and IT accountability to deliver against expectations. I believe that many companies are very poor at planning their projects. They fail to: a) create an appropriate documented business case, b) identify and engage the correct stakeholders and sponsors, and c) assume every event in the project will be a "home run."

Correcting these things is Project Planning 101. Once you have the correct planning approach in place you then need to tackle project execution and project post mortems. If you focus on these things, projects can be delivered on time, on budget, AND deliver against the original expectations. Outsourcing to an IT services company won't fix these issues without putting the right internal framework in place.

Lastly -- how many business projects (where there is zero IT involvement) meet expectations? Poor Project Planning and Project Management are not just IT diseases. Getting it right is fundamental to almost any major initiative that an organization undertakes. How is Boeing doing with its Dreamliner? How did Boston do with its Big Dig? Did we still expect to be in Iraq today?

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.