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Do you find your organization does a good job including IT in the initial planning stage of projects?
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Have you found there to be a difference between the public and private sector, or across different industries?Please share your experiences.

I was recently asked this question. It's a good question, and I would be interested to hear the thoughts of the community.
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Hi Andrew,

Just to be sure I understand the question properly, can you ellaborate what do you mean when you say Include IT in planning ?

On large construction jobs, we used to include IT from the planninv stage but it all depends on the project and its needs.
...
1 reply by Andrew Craig
Feb 27, 2017 6:45 AM
Andrew Craig
...
Sure Rami,

In projects in which require the support of IT, do you find that the Business group in need of the product or service goes through their solution exercises prematurely prior to including IT into the conversations, or making a decision to 'buy' prior to engaging with IT to ensure the solution can be integrated into the existing environment and architecture?
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What I have seen in the private sector is that a business project is initiated based on business need, which traditionally did not refer to IT. Once the business project progresses and eventually needs some IT changes (and hence should be called a program), they will involve IT. IT will often say it is too late, we need some time to analyse etc., this is described since decades as the gap between business and IT. In some cases, business will bypass IT and create a 'shadow' IT or outsource which leads to less control about overall cost, organizational standards, integration and security.

With digitization upcoming, the business need has a digital relevance and I see that new initiatives are coming earlier to IT now. But again, if IT is not prepared to support business in digitization quickly, shadow IT and outsourcing is a viable option for business.
...
1 reply by Andrew Craig
Feb 27, 2017 6:53 AM
Andrew Craig
...
Thank you Thomas,

This highlights the importance of a partnership b/t IT and the Business. At the same time, IT has to realize they're role - to support the Business, and on the flip side, the Business has to understand the importance of the IT role.

It does happen all too often, and I'd even go out on a limb, and say many times done unintentionally. As you mention, the Business drives the business case, then too quickly. decide on a solution for the sake of just getting it done.

The problem is that there are many avenues of discussion that needs to happen first -
- Is there a similar initiative,
- Is there an existing solution already,
- Is there a capability in the organization that solve the problem,
- Does the intended result fit within the organizational strategy,
- If a buy decision, has Risk & Compliance, Vendor Management been looped into the decision process.
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In my organisation we used to be less than good at including IT in the initial rounds of planning, but over time we've got a lot better. Having good relationships with other areas of the business has helped a lot.
...
1 reply by Andrew Craig
Feb 27, 2017 6:54 AM
Andrew Craig
...
Thank you Elizabeth - Key word - Relationships
Network:1233



Why do you start a project? To create a product/service/result that will be the object to solve a business problem. What is the business problem? The need that emerges after strategy formulation defines objectives to achive in order to survive, growth and develop. Project starts when the business case is approved and the business case will contain all the information needed about the solution to aprove it. To get the information the business analyst must engage all the needed stakeholders. When the business case is approved and the project starts a revision about the stakeholders is made and the business analyst with the project manager (now, an assigned project manager) will engage the stakehodlers needed to plan, execute, monitoring, close the project. If inside the group of stakeholders you need IT people or any other then you must engage them.
...
2 replies by Andrew Craig and Sergio Luis Conte
Feb 27, 2017 6:57 AM
Andrew Craig
...
Agreed Sergio, and the Business Analyst plays a significant role in the partnership b/t the Business and IT services/groups.

You lay out an ideal scenario, but unfortunately, it does not play out to be that clear cut all of the time. Many times, shortcuts are taken, which lead to downstream problems.
Feb 27, 2017 7:12 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
This is not an ideal scenario. This is the scenario I live from years. I know that you can find what you described and I faced that. But is up to you to avoid that. We need to make our job as business analyst and project manager or any role that must fix this to unserstand that reactions are there because a reaction. Both roles have sence to work on this type or things. Both roles are not technical roles.
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My experience in one of the projects is similar to what Thomas Walenta has alluded to . The business goes through Project initiation and somewhere down the line realizes that they have not considered the IT component . Then they summon their IT colleagues to give an estimation. IT has not been given a chance to fully evaluate how the solution hangs in the big picture and hastily puts together a proposal . Later it is found that they had "under -quoted". When they re-estimate , there is a good chance of an IT budget blow out. Who is to blame here? the Business that ran the project or IT?
...
1 reply by Andrew Craig
Feb 27, 2017 7:09 AM
Andrew Craig
...
Thank you Deepesh

Yes, an all too common scenario. Frankly, if the Business comes to IT late in the process, that does not mean IT should cut corners to provide their recommendations or estimations, because as you say, will end up introducing a new problem.

Back to the importance of the partnership that should exist between IT and Business groups.
Network:1201



Feb 26, 2017 11:41 AM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
...
Hi Andrew,

Just to be sure I understand the question properly, can you ellaborate what do you mean when you say Include IT in planning ?

On large construction jobs, we used to include IT from the planninv stage but it all depends on the project and its needs.
Sure Rami,

In projects in which require the support of IT, do you find that the Business group in need of the product or service goes through their solution exercises prematurely prior to including IT into the conversations, or making a decision to 'buy' prior to engaging with IT to ensure the solution can be integrated into the existing environment and architecture?
...
1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Feb 27, 2017 3:08 PM
Rami Kaibni
...
On large construction projects we always do that especially that everything is automated and they system should be linked to our client system in order for them to be able to login see all site inspections, certifications, and so on.
Network:1201



Feb 26, 2017 3:03 PM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
What I have seen in the private sector is that a business project is initiated based on business need, which traditionally did not refer to IT. Once the business project progresses and eventually needs some IT changes (and hence should be called a program), they will involve IT. IT will often say it is too late, we need some time to analyse etc., this is described since decades as the gap between business and IT. In some cases, business will bypass IT and create a 'shadow' IT or outsource which leads to less control about overall cost, organizational standards, integration and security.

With digitization upcoming, the business need has a digital relevance and I see that new initiatives are coming earlier to IT now. But again, if IT is not prepared to support business in digitization quickly, shadow IT and outsourcing is a viable option for business.
Thank you Thomas,

This highlights the importance of a partnership b/t IT and the Business. At the same time, IT has to realize they're role - to support the Business, and on the flip side, the Business has to understand the importance of the IT role.

It does happen all too often, and I'd even go out on a limb, and say many times done unintentionally. As you mention, the Business drives the business case, then too quickly. decide on a solution for the sake of just getting it done.

The problem is that there are many avenues of discussion that needs to happen first -
- Is there a similar initiative,
- Is there an existing solution already,
- Is there a capability in the organization that solve the problem,
- Does the intended result fit within the organizational strategy,
- If a buy decision, has Risk & Compliance, Vendor Management been looped into the decision process.
Network:1201



Feb 26, 2017 4:08 PM
Replying to Elizabeth Harrin
...
In my organisation we used to be less than good at including IT in the initial rounds of planning, but over time we've got a lot better. Having good relationships with other areas of the business has helped a lot.
Thank you Elizabeth - Key word - Relationships
Network:1201



Feb 26, 2017 4:24 PM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
Why do you start a project? To create a product/service/result that will be the object to solve a business problem. What is the business problem? The need that emerges after strategy formulation defines objectives to achive in order to survive, growth and develop. Project starts when the business case is approved and the business case will contain all the information needed about the solution to aprove it. To get the information the business analyst must engage all the needed stakeholders. When the business case is approved and the project starts a revision about the stakeholders is made and the business analyst with the project manager (now, an assigned project manager) will engage the stakehodlers needed to plan, execute, monitoring, close the project. If inside the group of stakeholders you need IT people or any other then you must engage them.
Agreed Sergio, and the Business Analyst plays a significant role in the partnership b/t the Business and IT services/groups.

You lay out an ideal scenario, but unfortunately, it does not play out to be that clear cut all of the time. Many times, shortcuts are taken, which lead to downstream problems.
Network:1201



Feb 26, 2017 5:10 PM
Replying to Deepesh Rammoorthy, PMP®
...
My experience in one of the projects is similar to what Thomas Walenta has alluded to . The business goes through Project initiation and somewhere down the line realizes that they have not considered the IT component . Then they summon their IT colleagues to give an estimation. IT has not been given a chance to fully evaluate how the solution hangs in the big picture and hastily puts together a proposal . Later it is found that they had "under -quoted". When they re-estimate , there is a good chance of an IT budget blow out. Who is to blame here? the Business that ran the project or IT?
Thank you Deepesh

Yes, an all too common scenario. Frankly, if the Business comes to IT late in the process, that does not mean IT should cut corners to provide their recommendations or estimations, because as you say, will end up introducing a new problem.

Back to the importance of the partnership that should exist between IT and Business groups.
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