In the media

Eight signs you’ve mistimed a major IT initiative

By John Edwards


15 February 2023

Read the full and original article here.

PA Consulting’s US Digital Lead Seth Lively shares advice on how to avoid mistiming a major IT initiative in a CIO article.

Planning and launching a major IT initiative can be a CIO’s biggest challenge. Everything has to go right: the technology, the goals, the financial platform, and most important of all, the timing. Launch an initiative too soon and the technology may be premature and flawed. On the other hand, failing to start the project a timely manner could mean falling behind competitors, perhaps even fatally.

Knowing exactly when to launch a critical IT initiative requires deep enterprise, market, and technology expertise. Most CIOs already possess those attributes, yet it’s also important to know what not to do. That’s why it’s critical to avoid the following eight potentially fatal mistakes.

Poor planning

Defective planning often leads to poor timing, particularly when an initiative conflicts with established business operations.

Seth said, “very often, IT teams don’t consider other, non-IT, activities that can affect their user base and their ability to collaborate.” He mentions confusion results when the initiative inadvertently ruins departmental synchronization.

Seth believes that the best way to correctly time a major IT initiative is to create a transformation management office (TMO), or similar entity, that will coordinate activities and dependencies. “A TMO sets up the framework to track benefits for large transformation programs and provides a centralized team to connect parts of the business involved in the transformation.”

Seth warns that mistimed initiatives ultimately result in poor adoption. 

“If dependencies and initiatives are properly planned, business stakeholders are engaged during the key parts of solution development.”

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