If your company is ready to bring an IT project live, you may be missing more pieces than you think. It is too often the case that Information Technology evolves within the organization faster than the organization may be ready for it and as an IT enthusiast/specialist; my eyes have been opened recently when rolling out a new initiative.
If you think you have all of your ducks in a row, you are in for a big challenge. Sometimes, having the best and brightest in your IT staff, the perfect project timeline, and finally the right budget are not really the pieces of the puzzle you need to make your rollout a success. The most overlooked and unplanned obstacle for your rollout may not actually be the project itself, but how it is received by the rest of the organization.
OK, follow me here for a second and it will start to make sense. Do you consider your time valuable? I certainly do… and so do my customers. With that, developing an IT project from conception to birth within budget and timelines is not enough to consider it successful. Your unknown obstacle is how this rollout is utilized by the users outside of your IT department. Just because you think your project is what the company needed, within budget, and it addresses all the concerns it was supposed to doesn’t mean it won’t flop. You can take some time to ensure that the project is a success by doing some non IT leg work.
I can hear the gears grinding now… Back to money. Helpdesk costs money, the time your staff is on the phone answering complaints, questions, and “non-issues” will increase steadily unless you inform and educate your users prior to rollout. This is more than an email blast saying that an upgrade or switch is happening. This should be more like your CEO or CIO providing communication across the enterprise explaining how important this project is, holding face to face meetings between C level members and subordinates to explain the importance of your initiative whether or not they even completely understand it. The awareness this creates is the start to making your project a success before it is even implemented.
The new IT needs to exercise its brain power and start reading some books on Change Management, workplace psychology, and get senior leadership to sponsor their projects. It is not enough anymore to just have a talented staff, the right budget and a project manager to help you meet your timelines. The new IT needs to learn how to influence users before they even get in front of the keyboard.