Many enterprise project teams sense intuitively that they need a new solution, and then figure out how to justify it. This is understable, but still backwards. You want to start with the business case, then proceed efficiently from there. In the first of a 20-part series, I'll offer some handy tips to get you jump-started.
Address Business Priorities
It's an old adage in the tech world: if you don’t have a solid business rationale for what you’re doing, you will never achieve business value. Everyone knows this, yet many enterprises still chase technology for its own sake, selecting tools and only later figuring out what to do with them. The inevitable result is "shelfware," technology awaiting deployment as real users figure out how to exploit what their employer hastily purchased. Selecting technology that explicitly addresses business priorities leads to faster time-to-value. So don't short-change this step.
- Clearly document the top three or four business objectives for the new technology to guide your selection and implementation teams going forward
- Nearly all technology projects can be justified in terms of...
- Reduced Risks
- Value/Revenue Enhancement
- Qualitative Transformation
- ...and you will likely want to mix and match these rationales
- Consider Cost of Doing Business (“CDB”) as an alternative to Return on Investment (“ROI”) calculations for business justification
- Avoid using vendor-oriented ROI calculators: they tend to underestimate costs and exaggerate returns
- Be sure to articulate the costs and impact of doing nothing at all in any business case
- You should remain diligent in your bidder cost negotiations and align future costs with additional value accrued
- Recognize that migration, implementation, and ongoing enhancements are likely to comprise the lion’s share of your long-term TCO, so budget accordingly
Let me know if RSG can help you build a solid business case for your next technology investment.
Other Posts in This Series
- Tip #1: Articulate a Solid Business Case
- Tip #2: Build the Right Team
- Tip #3: Setting the Right Business Foundations
- Tip #4: Capture Requirements That Don't Suck
- Tip #5: User Stories Are Everything
- Tip #6: Ask Questions That Really Matter
- Tip #7: Find More Than the Usual Suspects
- Tip #8: Target the Right Suppliers
- Tip #9: How to Engage Vendors
- Tip #10: Create RFPs That Actually Work
- Tip #11: Keeping It Real with Bidders