Maintainability – Keep it simple. This principle is one of the hardest to implement. IT people are used to complexity and love the puzzles that complexity brings. Complexity breeds errors and requires resources to maintain. Devoting ever increasing amounts of resource to maintaining systems leads to the famous view that IT is a black hole where money disappears and never returns.
This principle also applies to project management. Don’t try to build a system in one giant project, but rather keep the phases of the project down to 60 to 90 day chunks. That allows you to keep the potential misses to a minimum and gives management the opportunity to review the need for the project on a regular basis. It also gives the project team a chance to celebrate every couple of months which is great for morale.
By now you may have noticed that there is no mention of hardware or software in an article on technology strategy development. That’s because the hardware and software are different for every organization. Trying to provide any advice on those topics any would be fruitless. What you need to take away from this article is that technology strategy depends on your organization’s business strategy. The business value provided by the technology is paramount in ensuring the organization uses and likes the technology you provide.
And finally measuring your projects and systems against a set of easily understood principles will make decisions more consistent. Consistency leads to a technology architecture that supports the technology strategy that the business strategy and value has shaped.
Mike Scheuerman is an independent consultant with more than 25 years experience in strategic business planning and implementation. His experience from the computer room to the boardroom provides a broad spectrum view of how technology can be integrated with and contributes significantly to business strategy. Mike can be reached at [email protected].