This is magical thinking and dangerous. It leads to familiar headlines - 'yet another IT project fails' - the ones that give politicians bad press days. Those headlines make me shout, 'There's no such thing as an IT project!'
All projects are business projects. Ultimately, in our case, they must benefit learning or research else what's the point? None of them are just about new technology. None of them can be left to the geeks alone.
Technology means 'tool' and tools are useless until someone sees their potential and applies them with skill and purpose. Most people are happy enough with the tool they have already. It's familiar. Life is predictable and safe. Why would they change? It's hard to convince them to adapt, and adopt the new. In fact, this is nearly always the hardest part of any project.
This is where you need to lead and play the starring role. Yet, time and again, this is the part which is forgotten or underplayed. Time and again, this absence turns out to the be the truth behind the headline.
So here are our new rules of engagement....
- There's no such thing as an IT project
- Don't ask us for new technology. Tell us the business challenge you are trying to meet.
- You play your role and we'll play ours. This is a double act