“Once you’re into the project, it’s kind
of late to do that. And the later you do it,
the more expensive it will be to find out
you have different sets of success criteria.”
IS THE CLIENT HAPPY?
Dan Gingras, partner at the professional
services firm Tatum, believes there’s only
one measure of success, and that’s the
definition at the business level. Thus, he
says, the questions you ask at the end
of any project should focus squarely on
customer satisfaction. “Is the client happy
with what we delivered? Is it on time and
on budget? Did we work with the client
to help them articulate their needs and
also manage their expectations?”
If the IT department views a project
from the perspective of customer service,
the scope of a successful project imme-
diately expands to include such factors
as documentation, training, and user
adoption. “Because they don’t see the
internal structure of the technology and
aren’t qualified to appreciate its elegance,
business users will judge the success of a
project much more on their experience of
getting it and using it,” Glen says. “‘Does
it look like I expected it to look? Did
you explain it to me in language I under-
stand? Did I feel you condescended to
me during the process?’”
Getting the business engaged in IT
governance and priority setting has
been critical as Beaumont Health System
introduces new electronic interfaces in
the traditionally paper-based healthcare
industry. For the hospital chain’s IT
staff, closer collaboration has paid off in
smooth IT implementations. Sripada’s
recent projects have a broad impact on
the way doctors track and deliver care. If
IT staff had not engaged users and their
requirements, there could have been
wholesale rebellion against the change.
MINDA ZETLIN is coauthor with Bill Pfleging of The
Geek Gap: Why Business and Technology Professionals Don’t Understand Each Other and Why They Need
Each Other to Survive (Prometheus Books, 2006).
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