Friday, 03 September 2010
Have you compared results with your key colleagues and are you in agreement, to a good extent, on the key features and user interface that the application must have? Are you in agreement about the short and long term costs, resources and timelines to implement? Have you decided on a packaged, custom built application or blended approach?
If you’ve been able to get agreement on the above, you have done exceptionally well and will make a great project champion! (And prepare for I.T. firms to start asking for your resume!) This initial phase can be the most challenging part of the project. Once the decision is made, the project often develops a life (and a head of steam) of its own.
If you have been unable to obtain agreement, you are not alone. You may need to revisit the biggest stumbling blocks and see if you can come to terms. Or perhaps you feel discouraged and tempted to abandon the project altogether – but don’t give up! The work you’ve invested, despite lack of a clear outcome, is extremely valuable. It should point you towards those key factors standing in the way of a decision on whether ‘To Build or Buy’. Once those factors are isolated, you can focus on them specifically without other distractions.
This may be a good time to share some of the remaining load with a Software Development Business Analyst or a Solutions Specialist. With your invaluable, in-depth knowledge of the project and requirements, a third party can take over the reins and oversee final negotiations while you provide firm direction. It may not be possible to get complete agreement, but when communication is open, issues are thoroughly researched and decisions are given alongside the rationale behind them, project participants may be agreeable to proceed after all.
To sum up this Blog Series, you may have realized that the more you research, the more complex it may be to decide whether ‘To Build or to Buy’ a software application. But really, that’s a good thing!
It’s far better to appreciate the complexity now than to potentially have a VERY EXPENSIVE, unknown, unused and unwanted application that keeps rearing its ugly head during your budget discussions for years to come.
Whatever your choice, we wish you much success.
How have your productivity projects gone in the past? Do you have any further advice for our readers? Please comment. We’d love to keep the conversation going!