Technology solutions: where to start.
The clichés as to why some technology solutions fail range from “lack of communication” to “poor planning”. In fact, technology solution failures are primarily due to lack of knowing what we want as consumers, or put more fancily, lack of vision. This translates directly into unclear requirements, which we pass onto our vendors, resulting in a botched project. So, how do we develop a clear vision and detailed requirements for our project?
Enter the information technology consultant.
His or her role in such a case is to study your business problem and ask the right questions, the answers to which become the project requirements. We call this the “systems analysis” phase, which is intended to produce a detailed requirements document, which can easily be converted to request for proposal to vendors.
Consumers without clear, granular requirements are viewed by many vendors to be:
1) Lacking a clear vision of their solution, which incurs costs of trial and error
2) New to the outsourcing world, which incurs costs of learning
For these reasons, requests for projects lacking a formal, detailed RFP are often answered by vendors with bids as much as double the actual project cost and time requirements, or they are disregarded.
So, next time your search for a technology solution repeatedly hits dead ends, look to see if you have laid out clear requirements. If you’re having trouble developing requirements, hire someone who can help. The effort upfront is sure to save you time and dollars in the end.