So I was teaching a class in Enterprise Architecture and IT Governance this week.
In one of the class exercises, one of the students presented something like this bell-shaped distribution curve in explaining a business case for an IT Project.
The student took a nice business approach and utilized a bell-shaped curve distribution to explain to his executives the pros and cons of a project.
Basically, depending on the projects success, the middle (1-2 standard deviations, between 68-95% chance), the project will yield a moderate level of efficiencies and cost-savings or not.
– To the left are the downside risks for significant losses–project failure, creating dysfunction, increased costs, and operational risks to the mission/business.
– To the right is the upside potential for big gains–innovations, major process reengineering, automation gains, and competitive advantages.
This curve is probably a fairly accurate representation based on the high IT project failure rate in most organizations (whether they want to admit it or not).
I believe that with:
– More user-centric enterprise architecture planning on the front-end
– Better IT governance throughout
– Agile development and scrum management in execution
that we can achieve ever higher project success rates along the big upside potential that comes with it!
We still have a way to go to improve, but the bell-curve helps explains what organizations are most of the time getting from their investments. 😉
(Source Graphic: Adapted by Andy Blumenthal from here)