A recent study (Brown et al, CACM, Volume 50, #9) provides a handy matrix of what IT business success factors are critical for each phase of a new technology's life cycle, suggesting potential improvements to our risk management techniques.
What the researchers discovered was that business success factors varied considerably depending on the phase of new technology deployment within an organization. The life cycle phases used in the study were as follows:
- Initiation (Research & Requirements)
- Adoption (Evaluation & Budgeting)
- Adaptation (Procurement & Installation)
- Acceptance (Initial deployment)
- Routinization (Optimized usage)
- Infusion (Extension throughout the enterprise)
The success factors were categorized at a high level as:
- Commitment to the new technology
- Knowledge about the new technology
- Communications to the user community
- Planning for the new technology implementation
- Infrastructure to support and extend the new technology
The success factor weightings for the first four phases are summarized in the following table:
This makes intuitive sense to me:
- Knowledge about the new technology as early as possible is critical at the Initiation of the technology's lifecycle, or nobody will know how to use it to achieve business goals.
- During Adoption, Communicating the plans and goals for the new technology takes precedence, but relatively in balance with other success factors.
- During Adaptation, careful Planning (i.e., implementation project management) takes precedence.
- For the technology to achieve its optimal business goals through Routinization into business processes requires executive Commitment as well as seamless integration with the existing Infrastructure.
- The success factors for Infusion are essentially the same as for Routinization, but extended over a longer period of time.
My next post will show how we might use these findings to improve our project risk management techniques.