That’s how you get the business
Failing IT projects have been a topic of conversation in the Netherlands for years. Incorrect planning, budget overruns, a lack of necessary resources, or changing requirements during the project are often to blame for this. Therefore, in this three-part series, we look together with experts at the background of failing projects and how this can be prevented in future projects.
During this series of articles, experts tell you how to start a new IT project, get the business on board, and why razor-sharp objectives are indispensable. In this part of this series, Jonathan Wigmans (Lead UX Designer at LINKIT) explains how to properly prepare for a new IT project and get the business involved. “Instead of pointing fingers at each other, business and IT need to embrace each other,” says Jonathan.
Starting a new IT project can be complex and challenging, especially regarding collaboration between IT and users. Unfortunately, there are many practical examples where pointing fingers point at each other. Causing projects to run smoothly or fail altogether. While that is not necessary, Jonathan thinks.
“When an IT project is properly planned and executed, it has a huge positive impact on an organization’s growth and efficiency. Therefore, good cooperation between users and IT leads to a well-oiled machine.”
“When an IT project is properly planned and executed, it has a huge positive impact on the growth and efficiency of an organization.”
The first step is to analyze the problems or needs to get this collaboration off the ground. The almost forensic interrogation of domain specialists and users, as Jonathan describes it. “In this way, we map out the precise pain points and needs so that we all know exactly how we are going.”
It is essential here that IT can explain to users how and why they can help them and that they are seen as helpful instead of know-it-alls. “The work process is disrupted when the users are not open to research,” says Jonathan. “IT must ensure that they impact day-to-day processes and can improve them. LINKIT acts, in the positive sense of the word, as a ‘strategic mediator’ and ensures that the lines of communication between users and IT are short and clear.”
A solution after five days
The actual project process begins when the objectives are set, and the users and IT have a shared mindset. One of the ways to go through the project quickly and purposefully is through the Design Sprint. With this, an organization and LINKIT go through the entire Design Thinking funnel in one working week. Jonathan explains: “During this multidisciplinary week, various workshops are conducted to arrive at an appropriate, validated solution concept for the predetermined need or problem after four intensive days. It is done iteratively, allowing us to identify any problems early and ensure that the project remains in line with the expectations of the business.”
Tons of failed projects
The trick with a Design Sprint is that it should be simple. And therein lies the crux, says Jonathan. “Sometimes we notice cold feet from companies. At LINKIT, we know exactly what a Design Sprint delivers, but companies don’t always see that. That is why it is up to us to create awareness and trust between IT and the business. In fact, these are the most important success factors during the project. By applying the steps from the Design Thinking methodology, you gain a better understanding of the users and their needs. Therefore, allowing you to create a solution that seamlessly meets these needs. And thus contributes to the success of the IT project.”
He concludes: “Did you know that Google developed the Design Sprint? They use it to help startups they invest in with these problems. And with results, because companies shorten their time-to-market, save costs, and improve their competitive position by quickly and effectively developing and launching new products. And fair is fair: if it works for an organization like Google, why not for you?”
“And fair is fair: if it works for an organization like Google, why not for you?”
Prevent failed IT projects
Do you want to stay informed about this series and learn everything about preventing failing IT projects? Then follow us on LinkedIn and be the first to receive a notification when more of this series is published.
Would you instead contact an expert directly or learn more about the Design Sprint? Don’t hesitate to contact us because we are happy to tell you more about the possibilities of Design Thinking. As well as other ways to bring your project to a successful conclusion.
Jonathan Wigmans, Lead UX Designer
Jonathan (40) studied Public Administration and works as Lead UX Designer at LINKIT. With his colleagues, he helps companies bring their IT projects to a successful conclusion, in which Design Thinking plays a significant role.