Headed For a Crash?

Headed For a Crash?

No one would deliberately drive off a cliff. We get that. But most companies that are headed for a precipice don’t even know they are. In fact, they’re usually well-intentioned, serious of purpose, and very intent on what they’re doing — so intent they forget to look up. That’s when the trouble starts.

Imagine this (it won’t be hard): You’re upgrading, consolidating, or replacing your existing investments system. You’ve assembled the team that will conduct and manage the project. Duly deputized, each member of the team swings into action:

  • Your vendor gives you its best shot at configuring your software’s functionality. But while your vendor knows your industry, it doesn’t know your company. As a result, it doesn’t know your people, your processes, or your preferences.
  • Your IT department gives you its best shot at upgrading, consolidating, or replacing your software. But its best shot is predicated on the ways in which it’s accustomed to doing things. New approaches, capabilities, or possibilities? Not so much.
  • Your project managers give it their best shot at juggling all the parts and pieces, all of which keep moving and changing as the project evolves. The next thing you know they’re buying stock in Rogaine and Maalox, as well as copies of the book, Foolproof CYA.

Meanwhile, your CEO, your CFO, your COO, and your CTO are making reservations on the stroke ward of your local hospital. And paramedics are on standby in your parking lot with defibrillators.

Is all this really necessary? The long answer is no.

What this project needs is a completely unbiased, wholly objective driver with the knowledge, the experience, and the steady hand necessary to keep the passengers in check and the wheels on the road. It also needs that driver to know the road before you start the journey; to establish and communicate the vision; to set the direction; to keep the passengers cool, calm, and collected; and to keep one eye on the destination as the scenery changes.

Could you set out on this road without such a driver? Sure. But we can tell you from having cleaned up our share of wreckage: Once you go off the cliff, it’s a mess at the bottom (line).

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