Appendix B. Seven Strategic Guidelines for Designing Systems

  1. Closely align projects with business goals. No system development project can be successful until you have first identified the business opportunity that makes the system worth building. And no system will benefit a company unless it supports the effective exploitation of the opportunity it was built to address.

  2. Use the system to change the competitive landscape. Look for opportunities to create a transformation or value shift in your market. Find ways to provide big cost savings, significant productivity increases, or whole new product features that will surprise and delight your customers.

  3. Leverage the strengths of existing systems. Build new systems on the strengths of older systems. When existing systems have been stable and useful over time, find ways to incorporate them or parts of them into the design of new systems.

  4. Use the simplest combination of technology and business procedures to achieve as many objectives as possible. A simple mix of technology and business processes that can achieve several different objectives increases the probability that at least some of these objectives will be achieved. This simple mix reduces the complexity and risk associated with the work and spreads the cost across multiple objectives.

  5. Structure the design to provide flexibility in the development sequence used to create the system. Break the system design into separate components or objectives, and, whenever possible, run the work ...

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