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Decoding the IT Value Problem: An Executive Guide for Achieving Optimal ROI on Critical IT Investments by Gregory J. Fell

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CHAPTER 5

Time Is the Enemy

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Time is the one resource you cannot replace. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. Delays are the number-one killer of IT projects. Do not allow internal bickering or internecine conflicts to delay the implementation of an IT project after it has been approved.

Riding to Nowhere?

A fable for your consideration: A man gets into a taxi in an unfamiliar city. He has $25 in his pocket. He wants to meet his friends at a trendy new restaurant in another part of the city, but he can't remember the address, and the restaurant is so new that he can't find it on the Internet. The driver, who doesn't take credit cards, meanders slowly through the city's dark and deserted streets, searching for the restaurant. As they drive, the meter is running. The taxi goes up one street, and then down another. The process is repeated, over and over. When the meter hits $25, the man tells the driver to stop, pays the fare, and steps out of the cab. The man is alone, lost in a vast metropolis. He never finds the restaurant, never finds his friends, and is never heard from again.

I like that fable because it illustrates a genuine dilemma facing companies as they struggle to complete IT projects. Like the man in the taxi, they run out of time before reaching their destination. They forget that when you have a fixed amount of money to spend, time is the enemy.

Here is how it plays out in real life: The CIO comes to the board with a proposal for a new IT system ...

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