Elements of technology project success

Practices which are key to meeting objectives and achieving a return on investment.

Over the years we’ve seen many technology projects fail to deliver a return. In some cases, products don’t actually go on to solve the problems they were originally commissioned for, or are shelved before completion. Other times they reach production only to suffer from a lack of adoption. Why?

Sharing Entelect’s experience in industry, these are our own lessons for the major factors which influence project success through the lenses of user adoption, time and budget. We explore the practices, ways of work and mindsets which are consistent across successful teams, and highlight some of the critical decisions involved in each project we undertake.

What’s in the publication

Build the right product

Will the proposed solution actually go on to solve the problem?

A broad analysis is required for clear understanding of the customer perspectives, the business objectives, and technology constraints or opportunities.

Depth on every topic is not as important as good coverage, as the intention is to discover roadblocks early, not to exhaustively specify.

Cross-functional teams

A cross functional team is self-sufficient.

They can resolve their own blockers, and make most decisions internally. They can clearly see and measure their goals and have all of the tools and agency required to take steps towards them.

To achieve this, each team must include a blend of skills, knowledge and decision making within its own ranks.

Agile execution and budgeting

Agility promises efficiencies in the route taken.

Our aim is to minimise waste in the process of evaluating, adapting and delivering on an idea. These are smart investments as they can course-correct with customer feedback as the guide.

To enable this, executive-level thinking needs to embrace the MVP, and IT budgeting has to adapt.

Talent matters

It should go without saying, but the level of talent within the team executing on a project will have a dramatic impact on both the quality and the usefulness of the resulting system, regardless of how well specified it is.

A large amount of work exists in between the lines on every project. There is unavoidable room for interpretation in every user story.

These gaps are where individuals within a team will rely on their own critical thinking and contextual understanding to make the best decision.

The adoption problem

Internally deployed systems are frequently rolled out to users who resist the change they bring, working around them.

Modern change management requires deeper participation in solution design and the agile process simultaneously invites this. We need to make development a more inclusive and consultative process to get ahead of the adoption problem.

Responding to failure

What to do if you didn’t get it right the first time, and now need to leverage what you have as best as possible to move forward.

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