3 IT mistakes

3 IT mistakes businesses make – and how to avoid them

3 IT mistakesWe’ve recently celebrated our 19 year anniversary at ECLEVA and over all those years delivering IT projects we’ve seen a lot of change in the technology landscape. But some things have stayed the same, including the mistakes businesses make in how they try to leverage the benefits of technology.

Here are our tips to avoid the top 3 mistakes people make.


Tip #1: Don’t expect too much of IT.


It might sound odd coming from a company that makes its living out of supplying IT solutions, but IT isn’t the magic bullet for everything. Some people get starry-eyed about what it can do for their business, even believing that simply having the technology will give them a competitive edge.


Our tip is to see IT not as an end in itself but as a way to make your business function better.


Our experience is that IT is most valuable in these areas:


  • Automating and improving your business processes
  • Handling your data – storing, accessing and analysing
  • Making your communication more flexible and efficient – anytime, anywhere, any channel


So harness the power of what IT does best and put the focus on your business first – and IT second.


Tip #2: “Time to value” matters the most


These days we work in a highly dynamic marketplace where business needs can change rapidly. This means organisations no longer have the luxury of taking months or even years to deliver IT projects. Such is the pace of change that, by the time the IT project is delivered, the demand has changed. You end up with a shiny old solution, rather than a shiny new one.


This means a shift in mindset in how we define a “successful” IT project: the traditional view that we need to deliver agreed functionality “on time and on budget” may well mean that you end up with a solution that is “on time” but is still too late. It no longer works for you and therefore wastes money.


So here’s our tip: adopt a strategy that delivers IT solutions that give you the highest value as quickly as possible. That way you get the benefits while they’re still relevant. There’s nothing to stop you then focussing on the “next highest value” deliverables. But you can do so while you’re getting the returns from your initial investment. One benefit of operating on shorter time frames is that ultimately this will probably save you money. It will certainly make your IT more relevant.


Tip #3: Create effective cross-functional teams


It would be great if the “business” could just tell the IT “boffins” what it needs and then leave them to it. Consciously or not, many businesses still try to achieve this “ideal”.


However this approach is filled with risk.


First, it can result in longer projects, with a disconnect between the IT solution and what the business really needs (as identified in Tip # 2). Second it assumes that the IT boffins will somehow come up with the right answer even though there’s been minimal interaction between project team members, and in particular with the “business”.


Our tip for getting the best results is to make sure the business side is involved with IT projects every step of the way, sometimes daily, even if only for 15 minutes. This makes it possible to identify any misunderstandings early and get the expectation clear well before the project is due to go live. It might, for example, mean bringing in other members of the team to help (“Anne from accounting knows that process inside out. Maybe we should talk to her.)


The right IT solution can provide fantastic returns to all organisations. The good news is that there are ways to avoid common mistakes, better manage IT project risks and get real value for your investment. Contact us if you’d like to find out more.


Visit our website or if you have any query than don’t hesitate to Contact us.

IT Projects

How to get fast value from your IT project

IT Projects

If you want to get value out of your IT projects fast you might want to rethink your approach. Instead of looking at your IT project as a marathon, you can look at it as a series of short sprints that let you get to defined points really quickly.


For years people have used a methodology called “waterfall” to deliver “on time and on budget”. Steps are:

  • You gather and document the user/business requirements
  • You get the right technical resources to design a solution that meets the requirements
  • You develop the solution
  • You get users to test the solution (User Acceptance Testing – UAT)
  • You roll it out into production


But “waterfall” has some problems – and here’s the top three:


First there’s the time it takes. If you need to get each step “right” before you move on to the next step then even a relatively small implementation can take months to deliver. You might deliver “on time” but that might still be too long before there’s any return on investment. In other words “time to value” isn’t there.


Second there’s the tendency for people to cram in too much in one IT project because they fear they might not have another shot at it once it’s delivered. So people gather too many user/business requirements in the first step. They add in more and more “nice to have” features. This all adds to the complexity and the cost, not to mention time.


Finally, “waterfall” doesn’t handle change well. This is a problem given how quickly business requirements can change, particularly once users understand the capabilities of the technology they’re using. Once an organisation has invested heavily into steps 1 and 2, making any change can be a nightmare. And this inability to handle change well often doesn’t become evident until User Acceptance Testing, at which point business and user requirements have often moved far beyond the initial conceptions.


So is there another way to deliver IT projects? There is. It’s called “Agile”. As its name implies it’s all about being nimble, flexible and fast moving

“Agile” is different because it is a very tightly targeted approach, with achievable goals:


  • You identify the requirements that will deliver the most value
  • You deliver to those requirements first
  • You do that via a series of short, discrete development cycles called “Sprints”. Each Sprint is of a fixed duration, usually between 2 weeks to 2 months.
  • You deliver a useable solution at the end of each Sprint.
  • If there is more value to be delivered then you kick-off another Sprint. If the extra value isn’t significant enough you stop.


“Agile” is short, sharp, multifunction team based effort which we have been using to deliver functioning systems with significant business value in under a month.


“Agile” is designed to handle change very well. As such it is really well suited for solutions that need to respond to change – Client Relationship Management (CRM) and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions, for example.


There are two main reasons for this.


Agile takes a prototyping approach. It puts out a working model during a Sprint, so users get to interact with the solution as it is being developed. This means users get to understand what the solution can do for them. It allows them to generate new ideas on how to get value from the solution and optimise functionality.


As well, Agile is fast. Users don’t need to wait six months. And it’s not final. If something new comes up or priorities change then those changes can be incorporated in the next Sprint.


You don’t have to be stuck with long IT projects that take months to deliver value.


If you feel your projects are taking too long, not delivering value quickly enough or always seem to be out of synch with what you really need, you should give us a call.


Visit our website or if you have any query than don’t hesitate to Contact us.