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

This is the fourth in my series of articles on IT Transformation Hints. If you’ve been following along, welcome back!  If you’re new to the series and haven't read my earlier blogs, you might want to check them out: IT Transformation – Top 10 Hints.

 

If you’re like me, you prefer “doing” more than “planning”.  I know there are lots of people that really enjoy developing a project plan and tracking progress but not me, I’m more about execution.  I’d rather take action than toil over developing a project plan or tracking against a schedule any day.  Of course, time and experience has taught me that when I minimize planning, most of my actions are fixing things I could have avoided with a good plan!  Upfront planning, although it feels very time consuming, actually gets you to the end result faster and reduces the number of problems along the way.  Whether you use Waterfall, Agile, or some other methodology, having a plan and sticking to it greatly increases the chance of success of any project. 

 

Simplistically speaking, a project has five phases.  1) Analysis and strategy; 2) Architect and validate; 3) Detailed Design; 4) Implementation; and 5) Manage.  You might not agree with these exactly, perhaps you have your own definitions, but I think these are fundamentally the basic steps. 

 

Analysis and strategy is where you decide what you’re going to do and develop your objectives and establish priorities. 

 

Architect and validate can be thought of as high level design – what you think your result will look like.  It’s also where you’d do your proof of concepts and do detailed analysis of your data.

 

Detailed design is exactly that, the detailed steps necessary to have your final product.  You build your implementation schedule, run pilots, and build the plans for implementation, testing, acceptance, etc.

 

Next is implementation; build and test what you planned and designed.

 

Last is manage – everything is implemented and now it’s transitioned to production. 

 

Notice that there are three phases before you even start implementation.  That is because there is a lot of thought that has to be applied between “thought and inception”.   It doesn’t mean you have to spend an enormous amount of time in these first three phases, but without them  you’re going to have more problems during implementation and your program has a higher likelihood of failure.  And no one wants to fail.

 

Yes, I know to some of us “Plan” is a four letter word, but you’ll be using, and hearing, a lot of other four letter words if you don’t plan!

 

For those that haven't viewed the 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 a company that achieved a complete overhaul of its computer infrastructure, check out this case study.

Comments
Nadhan | ‎12-21-2011 05:49 PM

Mark, Whether it be a journey or a destination, IT Transformation is all about planning at a macro enterprise level -- usually multi-year programs -- as well as a departmental level for incremental projects of shorter durations

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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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