The Case For Customizing Software

The Case for Customizing Software

There is ample evidence that, in general, “software customizations are bad.” (So much so you might have nightmares where software customizations are vampires, haunting you, refusing to die in peace.)

But consider the other side of the coin: the risk of an organization going along with canned software functionality. This can downgrade an organization’s business practices to “average,” causing them to lose out on opportunities to improve performance.

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PDCA to Jump Start Process Improvement Initiatives

Deploying “Plan-Do-Check-Act” to Jump-Start Your Process Improvement Initiatives

When you think of Lean Six Sigma, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For most people, it is associated with manufacturing organizations. This was true in the past, but today organizations outside of manufacturing have adopted the Lean Six Sigma framework for continuous improvement. These organizations can be found in a diverse set of industries, including services, financial, healthcare and nonprofit.

Just about any organization that has processes can put Lean Six Sigma to work. You might ask, doesn’t every organization have processes? The answer is YES, and more importantly, every process has some form of waste.

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ROI vs. Outcomes: Prioritizing IT Projects for the Greater Good

How do you prioritize your IT project portfolio? If ROI is the driving force behind what gets funded and what doesn’t, you’re not alone.

When an organization views the IT department as a cost center, technology projects are typically justified based on ROI. These ROI calculations are made based on direct cost savings alone, not on the most effective use of time and resources.

“Cost savings” is a suboptimal reason for doing things.

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Abraic Requirements Definition Tips

Tips for a Better Requirements Definition Phase

Across the board, successful IT projects follow a certain recipe for success. Time and time again, however, you’ll see organizations skip this step, or that step, and the result can be less than satisfactory.

One such example is the Requirements Definition phase, which answers the most basic questions: “What needs to happen?” and “Why does this need to happen?”

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IT Portfolio Management and the Squeaky Wheel Effect

We’ve all seen it: “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

This idiom has become synonymous with the idea that, in any organization, the person who complains, bellows, shouts, and stomps their feet the loudest will be first to get attention.

Squeaky-wheel types aren’t necessarily negative or harmful. Some Squeaky Wheels are simply annoying. Some have valid ideas that deserve the attention they seek.

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Project Charter - Abraic

Making the Most out of the Project Charter

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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Why Projects Fail to Deliver Business Value

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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