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Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Cont.): Beware of solving their problems through your program

This is number eight in my series of articles on IT Transformation Hints.  If you’ve read my previous posts, thanks and welcome back!  If this is the first article you’ve read in the series, you might want to check out the rest, starting with IT Transformation – Top 10 Hints. You can find a list of all the previous blogs at the end of this post.


Every time you turn around, someone highlights a shortcoming in a solution.  In every meeting someone points out a problem. Emails fly with additional change recommendations.  A hallway chat turns into a “what we really need to do” conversation. 


Any of this sound familiar to you?  I’m guessing your answer is yes if you’ve ever run a larger program or project.  I’ve found that whenever a substantial amount of money and resources are allocated for an initiative, people will try to fund a solution for their problems.  It’s like bees to honey! 


It’s tough enough for me to control my own tendency for scope creep, let alone cover what other people are saying “has to be done!”


I have to say that this is one of my biggest challenges.  How do I separate the actions that need to happen to enable my program to be successful from the actions that people are driving to achieve their own goals – activities that they couldn’t get funded any other way?  Now, of course, logically the more that gets fixed the better off the environment will be at the end of the day. But can you afford to include more work?  You have your primary goal of completing your program successfully, and you have limited time, funding, and resources.


How do you determine what has to be done?  Here are some techniques (really questions) that I use to figure out what the impact of an additional activity will be; some are probably obvious to you.


  1. What is the impact to my program if I include the activity, and what is the impact if I exclude it?  More simply stated, will my program fail if don’t get this done?

2. Why hasn’t this been approved through normal processes?  Is it not worth doing, or just not worth doing on its own?  Maybe it hasn’t been that critical, but with the changes of my program it becomes critical.


3. Is there an advantage to me and my program if I include this activity?  Sometimes, there is no true business reason to do something, but you might gain business support by including it.  And business support always makes big programs smoother.


4. Do I have the time, money, and resources to include?  It’s always nice to come in under budget and under time, but sometimes there is a greater good.  Provided you don’t go over, including some additional activities could improve the solution.  Plus it might earn you some return favors in the future!


Just some of the questions I think about when new “this has to be done” items are raised.  What about you?  How do you separate “needs” and “wants”?


Remember – Be careful what you include, but also be careful what you ignore!


For those of you that haven’t viewed the Top 10 Tips video (or want to watch it again), it can be found at: Episode Overview: Top 10 Tips for Planning Your IT Transformation


Learn more about HP Data Center Transformation Services and how HP can help you plan your next project.

For a great example of how HP can help organizations plan a major IT transformation initiative – and reduce risk – read how one company tested and refined its formula for IT virtualization.


Previous blogs in this series:

IT Transformation: --Top 10 Hints

Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Continued): Don’t Underestimate What You Don’t Know

Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Continued): Understanding the Current State Will be a Challenge

Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Continued): Failing to Plan Is Planning to Fail

Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Cont.): Risk Is Inevitable – Plan But Don't Over Plan!

Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Cont.): Choosing Is Losing

Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Cont.): Don’t Mistake Heavyweight Processes for Good Planning


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About the Author
Mark joined HP in January 2007 as a Business Consultant for the Data Center Transformation team. His role is to assist HP customers in dete...

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