Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Typical - especially in banks?

There is a lot of evidence that hunch is often the best guide to good business. Due to scarce IT-budgets and even scarcer key skills many organizations have resorted to a systematic "business case" process approach. This all sounds very logical and orderly and is often difficult to argue against. And when we are dealing with big investments it is naturally necessary to analyse pros and cons and scenarios very carefully.

The problem - as delightfully described in the cartoon below - is that:

1. If you have a hammer everything is a nail - the heavy process is applied for even the smallest improvements - the decision making process ending up costing more than the project. The right solution is to empower people in charge with decision making power and resources - instead of delegating it upward. Then they also take more responsibility.

2. The most creative and innovative people hate formal processes. They will move elsewhere - exactly what we cannot afford.

3. Agility and speed is self-evidently lost.

4. Those who have the nerve to paint up the rosiest business case pictures may win - and the responsibility still resides with high level decision makers or elsewhere in the organizations.

A centralized model will not work for smaller investments anyway - as so many know from experience, that it is easier to get forgiveness than permission.. And luckily they have the nerve to move forward - but it is of course necessary to make this also officially allowed.

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