Companies often measure the success of technology initiatives through a myopic focus on project measurements such as budget, timeline, and scope, or from a purely cost perspective of total project cost. A critical measurement that is typically missing is the business impact or business value realized through any given effort. If you focus on aligning business engagement with strategic objectives and pairing process improvement with technical delivery you can change the way these initiatives are viewed from all angles within an organization.
Stakeholder engagement is one of the basics of project management. However, project teams often focus on stakeholder engagement to mitigate risk or help ensure project success in cost, timeline, and scope. Instead, project leads should also engage business stakeholders to understand performance expectations, challenges, and areas for success. Taking a more holistic approach to stakeholder engagement, project teams can design business-oriented solutions. They should continually make sure that projects align with business goals and needs. Simple changes can help ensure project success for the business, not just IT or the project team.
Organizational Strategic Objectives
You can also align projects with an organization’s strategic objectives to help ensure that technical efforts create business value. What’s a good starting point? Try working with business stakeholders to inventory strategic objectives at the organizational and group levels. Also, identify short-term and long-term objectives. If you include these objectives in the early days of solution design you will help align the solution with the businesses priorities. For example, a design that requires an 18-month implementation is not a good fit if the critical business objectives need to be achieved in six months.
You can increase realized business value from projects if you pair process design with the deployment of technical solutions. Consider incorporating process improvement into projects by:
- Inventorying affected processes
- Redesigning processes to incorporate new technical tools
- Measuring the benefits of new technology after deployment
You can also enable the business to evaluate ongoing business value from projects with proper controls and ongoing process measurement protocols. The constant measurement and evaluation of new solutions provides insights for needed improvements, helping ensure that the solution evolves as the business evolves.
Driving to Value
If you shift from a traditional project management approach to a method focusing on business value, you will improve long-term feasibility of technology efforts. This approach will not only help justify project costs but also promote a business culture that values the positive impact of technology.
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