How to kill a technology project before it has even started
by Roger Gomol
Every year, Jarrod Gingras, Managing Director & Analyst of research firm Real Story Group compiles a list of the five most common mistakes that can kill a technology project during the procurement phase. Obviously, in any enterprise project –whether it is a replacement or a new implementation of technologies– there are many places where things can go wrong. So, learning from someone else’s mistakes is not a bad idea.
Here is a summary of Real Story Group’s research around typical mistakes:
1. Shortlisting the wrong vendors that do not fit your real use cases
2. Relying on carefully rehearsed demos during presentations
3. Not getting the full implementation picture
4. Not properly test driving the solution with your team in your own environment
5. Waiting too long to negotiate
Our role at TAI SOLUTIONS is to ensure that our customers avoid these potential pitfalls. Every year, we help a multitude of enterprises select and implement new technologies. Based on our experience we do two things to avoid the most common mistakes:
PROPERLY ASSESS CUSTOMER USE CASES
The path of least resistance is always enticing so to follow common practice feels like a safe bet. Choosing standard products and following proven procedures is the attractive and easy way, but will such behaviour provide you with a competitive edge you desire? By always playing safe you might miss the chance to build on the individual strengths of your team and create differentiation that could boost your business dramatically. But, when you courageously follow the path least taken you increase your risk of failure, incur higher costs and create delays. So, your decision needs to be based on the best possible evaluation of your own individual situation. It's a fine balance between calculated risk and confidence in your team's potential.
TAI SOLUTIONS is there to guide you through these decisions by identifying a set of use cases the new technology can realistically address. Relying on our 30 years of experience in IT Consulting we do not hesitate to test your ideas to establish the most accurate description of your needs. We like to act as so-called “external insiders” i.e. we understand your business thoroughly while retaining the freedom to question your requirements. There is no better time to identify unnecessary costs than at the very beginning, while you still have the opportunity to minimize efforts by streamlining use cases.
ALIGN USE CASES WITH PROVEN CAPABILITIES OF VENDORS' PRODUCTS
Many product selection teams become enamoured with the well prepared demos that software sales people love to show. In the real world it is extremely rare that the demonstrated use cases actually match your unique needs. For three decades we are helping customers select and implement state-of-the-art technologies from all the major vendors. Naturally, we have seen some odd choices along the way. It is sometimes very disappointing how products fail to deliver on the performance and features promised. Don’t get me wrong here; IT products always have shortcomings and compared to other industries it is a young field of expertise and the window for technology maturation is small.
However, what can kill your project are unexpected bugs that undermine your use cases. As a customer you have little chance of discovering such problems in advance. To protect your business against bug related problems arising during production you need a partner that has the wherewithal and expertise to fully test products against your use cases. At TAI SOLUTIONS we concentrate on a well-managed set of technologies, products and vendors, allowing us develop expertise and real-world experience. We also put huge value on building trustful relationships with selected vendors to ensure we get first hand insights and the best possible support.
If we are in any doubt that a proposed technology not will match perfectly to our customer needs we will create a realistic proof-of-concept test case and run stringent tests to ensure the technology delivers on the expected performance and benefits. With our expertise we can steer our customers away from potential pitfalls that come with IT infrastructures and applications.
By assessing customer use cases in an unbiased manner and by matching them with the realistic capabilities of mainstream products, we help our customers to avoid one or all of the mistakes outlined by the Real Story Group above. You can learn how we avoid other common mistakes in the following blog post WHY THE CHEAPEST DEAL IS NOT THE BEST DEAL IN TECHNOLOGY. To read the full Real Story Group report click here.
NEED MORE HELP?
TAI SOLUTIONS provides advisory services to enterprise product selection teams. Contact us to start the conversation.