IT Must Learn to Fail Fast to Succeed

Innovation is an imperative for all organizations, and particularly IT. With that imperative comes the need to fail fast.

In Fail Fast or Win Big, Bernard Schroeder writes that it is not just leadership, culture, and technology that make for a successful startup, but also speed and timing. It has become easier to launch prototypes and get instant feedback via such tools that range from free online tools, social media, crowdfunding, and crowdsourcing. Startups can learn faster and pivot to new options, thus reducing the risk of outright failure.

Entrepreneurs have reached an extraordinarily high maturity level of innovation and failing fast. Startup methodologies have been honed in the US and globally, making small innovators big threats to established enterprises. As a result, larger companies are adopting startup methodologies—including fail fast—for themselves. Unfortunately, many IT organizations are laggards in this regard.

IT should be leading the way. If we don’t, we will be asked to get out of the way!


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VIDEO Cascading IT Governane

Cascading IT Governance

We believe the only way for an IT governance function to affect the execution of a strategy is to cascade the governance function. When middle management from IT and the business participate in governance, great things happen.

Watch this video to learn how we do it:

(Did you enjoy the video? Consider subscribing to our YouTube channel.)

tweet-graphic-transTweet: Cascading #ITGovernance
[VIDEO] @mpapov

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Why We Are Afraid of Failing in IT, and How to Get Over It

IT executives, IT managers and other techies: I am coming at you!

It’s time to embrace the concept of failing fast. (If you already have, how is it working for you? Please feel free to comment below and share your lessons learned.)

This doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people. We in the IT industry have baggage. So let’s process that baggage together.


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PODCAST: IT Outcomes & Internal Customer Satisfaction

I was pleased to be interrogated – er, interviewed – by the talented Cassie Crossley on her new podcast, Tech Leaders Today.

Please take a listen to uncover:

  • our recruiting and staffing approach
  • IT’s biggest problem today
  • stories of how we solved 2 different clients’ problems

Excerpts from our conversation are transcribed below.


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Lessons on Failing Fast from Outside the Corporate Bubble

The benefits of “failing fast” have been well documented and embraced in startup circles. Yet in IT, project cancellations are rare. Organizations exert tremendous energy on making the best of IT initiatives that are bound to fail. When failure is not an option, failing fast is a foreign concept.

There are many factors contributing to the fear of failure in IT: culture, governance, strategic alignment, budgeting practices, contract structures, and more. That said, IT leaders need to learn from others.


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IT Can’t Please Everyone

Sorry to break it to you this way. It’s a fact of life: IT cannot complete its work faster than the business can think of it.

The dependence on IT is growing exponentially, priorities shift constantly, and new opportunities come up daily. The gap between expectations of IT and its capacity is often widened by those executives who claim they are not technologically well-versed, yet assume IT can waive a magic wand and technology will just work.

That IT cannot please everyone is not a problem – it is a reality. Frankly, a hypothetical IT department that satisfies everybody 100% would be so expensive it would defeat the purpose. The key is finding the balance between responsible spending and internal customer satisfaction.


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The Iterative Vendor Engagement Model

Whitepaper Preview: The Iterative Vendor Engagement Model

The following post is an excerpt from The Iterative Engagement Model: A Calculated Risk and a Whole Lot of Reward.

The traditional vendor engagement model is flawed.

Technology initiatives are only getting more and more complex, time consuming and costly. Consequently, the risks associated with technology investments continue to pile up.

Complexity increases the number of weak links, prolonged timelines introduce changes to landscape and priorities, and budgets are inevitably blown by vendors that offer unrealistically low costs that they cannot later sustain. While some organizations may feel that the problem is the result of selecting the wrong vendor, the challenge may in fact be the typical vendor contract.


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That “Status Quo” IT Approach Is Putting You at Risk

You’ve heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

There are many areas in business where that advice may hold true, but your IT assets are not one of them.

IT assets—including hardware, software and data—start deteriorating the day they are acquired. Yet the tendency today is to purchase, install, and then promptly forget about a technology. Few people or companies realize that when it comes to IT assets, maintaining status quo carries great risks.


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Exploring the Benefits of the I.D.E.A. Continuous Process Improvement Model

Value creation is the main goal of any business. Managers should make decisions in order to maximize the value of their company, using minimal resources.

Many organizations utilize Lean management strategies to prioritize customer interests and enable workers to improve processes. Instead of the optimization of separate processes, Lean thinking focuses on processes alignment and continuous improvement.


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IT Governance Must Evolve or Die

Bureaucratic, static IT governance models of the past no longer work in organizations where the IT function is to enable business innovation and customer engagement. For IT governance models to be effective in today’s evolving marketplace, they must be more closely linked with business governance.

What concrete benefits and tangible value are you receiving today from your IT governance processes?


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