When a project charter is not focused on outcomes the eventual results are bound to be disappointing. A business case for a project typically describes expected benefits as a justification for the effort. However, the charters typically fail to mention these benefits and lay out operational aspects of a project, such as scope, timeline, budget, approach, governance, workflow and team structure.
Why do we lose sight of the reasons we are doing this? The answer may be that it is easier to measure and manage operational metrics, while outcomes are not hard wired to a technology solution.
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What stands in the way of business value? Business executives often feel that their organizations’ IT departments simply don’t deliver what’s needed from expensive projects and programs. Sometimes they will say “Well, it took a long time, but we finally have a system that is making a difference for us,” or, “It cost us double what was originally promised, but it’s a night-and-day improvement over what we had before.” These are actually positive comments because they speak to the overall success of a project.
Unfortunately, more often than not, we hear that a solution fell below expectations – the business did not get what they paid for.
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