With any initiative that is offered for consideration, within a business, for inclusion within a program of work it is very easy to oversell the benefits that it can deliver and the ‘ease by which it may be accomplished.
Often, the lack of reliable metrics, used to assess the merits of an initiative and how well it meets the needs of the business strategy, introduces an overly optimistic bias by it champion to the business case that is developed.
- the benefits that are expected to be achieved may be inflated;
- the risks that the initiative may introduce may be downplayed;
- the time required to implement may be underestimated and
- the costs associated with both level of effort and the supporting infrastructure may be insufficient.
With expectations set, when reality strikes during the planning, design and build phases, compromises may need to be made.
In order to meet either budgeted delivery or cost requirements scope may need to be altered. Reducing scope must, by consequence, reduce the already and potentially over inflated business benefit.
With any reduction of scope the original business case can be called into question and the credibility of its builder may be adversely affected.
Having an established knowledge repository, containing analysable details of how the business operates and past initiatives and their outcomes, will allow the level of confidence in any newly developed business case to be increased.
With no appropriate information available, the opportunity to over-sell and under-deliver will increase and result in poor business outcomes.