However, with projects of strategic importance to an organization, those are the lucky exceptions.
For projects to succeed – both from a content related and financial perspective – they require management attention: the only way to prevent the otherwise specialized and cross organizational individual solutions caused by the inevitable tunnel vision of isolated teams. Such individual, isolated applications often have these characteristics in common:
- Increased costs due to moving targets
- Automation above and beyond financial feasibility
- No integration into cross corporate systems and infrastructures possible
It is therefore essential to incorporate and institutionalize the management in an active role, thus ensuring adherence to corporate standards as well as to the implementation of the following aspects:
- Consideration of the usefulness for the entire organization
- Cross corporate processes
- Integration into cross corporate infrastructures
- Use of basic platforms
The “ELAK im Bund” project is a good example:
Where would file processing in the Austrian federal administration be today without the management support for ELAK im Bund? It would be handled via many small and isolated applications, and most likely even differ from one ministry to the next.
Cross-organizational processes, one uniform interface to the ERP/HR system, or the possibility to integrate subordinate offices, all things which are self evident today, would only be a distant dream.
Projects such as these clearly demonstrate the importance of management support. In addition to the top tier of management, which bears overreaching responsibility for the entire organization, this also includes those managers responsible for specialized, organizational and technical issues. Unfortunately, current trends demonstrate a tendency to shirk responsibility, as mentioned in the CIO-Magazine article: “CIO’s scheuen den Konflikt” which describes a growing number of isolated applications in specialized areas, as CIOs are increasingly trying to avoid internal conflicts, thus causing real cost and efficiency disadvantages for the organization as a whole.
Possibly, though, the cause is also due to ongoing projects which are not yet successful, and are so massively promoted in the media that actually successful projects are lost in the crowd (pls refer to the blog by Andrea di Maio, Gartner Analyst).
When examining the projects rewarded at various events during the past 2-3 years, it unfortunately becomes apparent that some of them have since been cancelled. This should provide food for though on the issue of sustainability – for media representatives and conference organizers alike.
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