The disconnect between business and IT

Happy New Year. I’ve just spent six months at a small Federal Government agency and, as usual have learned a lot about why IT fails to deliver value to the business. The IT department believes that all it takes is for them to gather requirements, design and build infrastructure and IT systems and its business users will be happy. Unfortunately, Continue reading The disconnect between business and IT

PCEHR Review

The PCEHR is being reviewed. In six weeks. Dr David More, who runs the Australian Health IT blog, has been invited to make a submission. David asked for input, and I responded with the following: David, I’m glad to hear that the enquiry is at least prepared to listen to views from the outside. I’ve been looking at the whole Continue reading PCEHR Review

Government procurement – designed to fail

This is what happens in real life: Somebody in government, either a public sector manager or a politician, has a “Good Idea” it might be a goal to achieve or a problem to solve. Let’s take a transport payment system as an example and call it a Teecard. It was claimed Teecard It will replace all existing payment/ticketing mechanisms and Continue reading Government procurement – designed to fail

Robert X Cringely “gets” requirements

Robert X Cringely is a long time observer of the IT industry,e specially the spectacular failures. He commented on IBM’s role in the Queensland Health IT failure Fulfilling customer requirements is a weapon at IBM “The Australian IT project debacle is a classic example of IBM’s unique way of managing projects. The core of project management is “documented deniability.” They Continue reading Robert X Cringely “gets” requirements

An Information System is never the whole solution to a business problem

So, your customer says :I want an information system” go build me one. You go off and follow all the usual processes and procedures, develop the system, but it’s a failure. Nobody uses it properly. Why? Because there’s far more to an information system than just the system. An information system is a tool. A very powerful tool. And like Continue reading An Information System is never the whole solution to a business problem

QLD Health payroll system: Another project fails because of unstable requirements

From this report: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/342015,qld-health-payroll-will-never-be-automated-ibm.aspx Here are a few quotes: “Queensland Health’s move to a new payroll system was compounded by a poorly defined scope and major differences of opinion over implementation, the inquiry investigating the bungled project has heard.” “While we were building the computer system, Queensland Health had the business management and the training responsibility,” Doak testified. He said Continue reading QLD Health payroll system: Another project fails because of unstable requirements

Readings on Leadership: Hubble Telescope Problem

IMHO, it is not sufficient to have leadership to balance out project management bias, it has to be good leadership Here’s a good article on failure of leadership in big projects. What went wrong with the Hubble Space Telescope (and what managers can learn from it) http://www.cio.com.au/article/420036/what_went_wrong_hubble_space_telescope_what_managers_can_learn_from_it_/

The gap between goal and solution

Often you see statements like:: eHealth will enable better health outcomes. We are implementing a new CRM to allow us to better serve our customers. Cloud computing will offer more flexible and cheaper IT. What do all these statements have in common? My answer is that they propose that a particular solution will achieve a goal. What they don’t tell Continue reading The gap between goal and solution

Value comes from solving problems. Solutions just cost money

The value of a solution exists in the problem it solves. When an enterprise (business or government) spends money on a new project, on an asset, on delivering a service, or employing people, it should really have a good reason for doing so. IMHO, that reason should be because it solves a business problem. The cost of the solution and Continue reading Value comes from solving problems. Solutions just cost money

Solving the Right Problem

In 1974 Russell Ackoff said: Successful problem solving requires finding the right solution to the right problem. We fail more often because we solve the wrong problem than because we get the wrong solution to the right problem. In an environment of rapidly changing technology and business environments, solving the wrong problem is the most common cause of business and Continue reading Solving the Right Problem