“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
This is where I see IT typically jumping in to solve a problem, purchasing technology and implementing it without a complete plan, evaluating all the options or having good business input on requirements. Many times IT is under intense pressure to “get it done” and aren’t given enough time to “do it right”.
The planning process goes through very distinct cycles which should not be short-changed, but neither do we have to spin in an endless planning cycle.
Initially, goals and requirements must be defined. We must then explore and evaluate the options which meet these goals and requirements outlining benefits, costs and risks. Then generate the business case which summarizes this information including final recommendations, cost benefit analyis and a high level timeline.
Once the business case is approved, we move to the Technology Plan. This follows the standard IT cycle of Plan, Design, Implement and Manage. All of these phases have disctint activites and deliverables which we will discuss in future posts.
We can move crisply through this planning phase if it is clearly defined. Unfortunately we seem to jump in to the middle of different activities without alignment of the strategy or simply becuase we have to “get things done”. This inevitably leads to challenges and potentially limits our business options down the road.