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Making Technology Investments Profitable: Roi Roadmap to Better Business Cases
Synopses & Reviews
Take the mystery-and anxiety-out of maximizing IT value
It is not unusual for companies to scrupulously analyze a fifty-dollar expense report, yet blithely commit millions of dollars to Information Technology projects that statistics show fail over 50% of the time. Making Technology Investments Profitable: ROI Road Map to Better Business Cases applies the authors proven VALUE-on-Demand(TM) methods to maximizing the business payoff from IT projects.
Jack Keen and Bonnie Digrius's forward-thinking study provides an abundance of practical tools, tips, and techniques for elevating the role of ROI-savvy business cases to become a firm's prime driver of improved payoff from IT investments. The book shows managers how to:
* Formulate simple, but powerful ROI business cases that help maximize the value from IT investments
* Develop easy-to-install procedures for selecting and prioritizing competing IT investments
* Implement straightforward methods for tracking IT value during implementation and operation
The authors include examples and case studies gleaned from their experiences in applying their VALUE-on-Demand(TM) methods to over 200 projects in North and South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.
Making Technology Investments Profitable: ROI Road Map to Better Business Cases provides a welcome, essential guide for CFOs, CIOs, IT managers, business unit managers, IT sellers, and consultants interested in applying simple, but powerful techniques for enhancing IT value.
"The value proposition of technology has always been about reducing cost or increasing revenue. In this book, Jack Keen and Bonnie Digrius show companies how to ensure that technology is really doing that. Making Technology Investments Profitable is direct and straightforward advice, highly recommended for companies and vendors alike."
-Craig A. Conway, President and Chief Executive Officer, PeopleSoft(r) inc.
"An extraordinary, practical, how-to-do-it book. The authors have been there, have the battle scars, and have an important message to communicate and do so with great impact. It should be on every CIO's and project manager's desktop."
-F. Warren McFarlan, Professor, Harvard Business School
"This book is packed full of practical techniques for measuring and powerfully communicating ROI. Every company, large or small, must justify their products or services to both their sales prospects and internal executives. Every businessperson needs this book!"
-Christine Comaford Lynch, General Partner, Novus Ventures
"Authors Keen and Digrius have created a powerful ensemble of topics that remove the stigma of traditional ROI process as well as offering a rare blend of conventional wisdom combined with practical guidelines, useful appendices, charts, checklists, and anecdotal user experiences. Comprehensive and complete, this book provides a litany of techniques for project success."
-Paul C. Tinnirello, Executive Vice President, Information Services Division, A. M. Best Company
Book News Annotation:
The authors, two business consultant partners, first diagnose five conditions within a company that can sabotage a sensible ROI-based approach to improving IT success. They then systematically address each of these situations and describe solutions, based on some 200 successful IT projects in 15 countries. Includes references to a companion Web site with tips and resources on their trademarked methods.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A guide to getting the crucial business case right--every time
Showing professionals how to calculate the value of typical budgeting and funding requests quickly and easily, Making Technology Investments Profitable applies the "Value Realization" process, using proven strategies that maximize the business payoff from IT projects. Filled with case studies, this innovative book enables managers to confidently quantify, in a matter of minutes, the true business value of funding a desired project.
Jack Keen (Basking Ridge, NJ) is a Value Analytics Leader with Infosys Consulting and is a frequent writer for CIO magazine. Raj Joshi is founder and Managing Director of Infosys Consulting where his responsibilities include developing and building the enterprise solutions and IT strategy practices of the company.
Studies show that over 50% of all Information Technology (IT) projects fail. These failures not only cost companies millions of dollars in investments but also handicap other strategic initiatives impacted by the IT projects. Flawed usage of business case project justifications is a major, unaddressed cause of these IT value shortfalls. Rather than being an ad hoc, limited-life document with scant management oversight, twenty-first century business cases must become management's primary device for identifying, tracking, and realizing IT value. Employing their globally acclaimed VALUE-on-Demand(TM) methodology, Jack Keen and Bonnie Digrius offer proven, easily applied tools for maximizing IT value in Making Technology Investments Profitable: ROI Road Map to Better Business Cases.
The authors begin by diagnosing five conditions within a company that together or separately can sabotage a sensible ROI-based approach to improving IT success:
* Tolerance by senior management of the frequency with which technology projects fail to achieve their expected business value
* Low executive awareness that a root cause of these frustrations to technology payoff is traceable to broken, yet fixable methods of creating and using business cases as an integral part of IT value management
* A mistaken belief among senior management that minor, ad hoc adjustments to existing processes will solve the problem of technology value shortfalls
* A lack of pragmatic knowledge of how to develop good, trustworthy ROI business case methods quickly and well
* A legacy of ROI business cases within the enterprise which, when closely examined, are seen to be unrealistically high, unknowingly low, and/or unconvincing
Making Technology Investments Profitable: ROI Road Map to Better Business Cases addresses each of these situations, systematically demonstrating how they can be defused to pave the way for improved returns from IT investments. Drawing upon their combined experience with over 200 IT projects in 15 countries, the authors emphasize that creating a successful ROI business case usage process is more about structured conversations than calculations, with advice on how to bring all personnel on board the program. Keeping a "how-to" focus throughout, the book delivers practical tools, techniques and tips, and offers insightful case studies and examples on how to realize more business value from IT investments. The book also includes reference to a companion Web site with additional tips and resources on VALUE-on-Demand(TM) methods.
In addition to discussing how IT buyers and users can extract more IT value from their investments, the book explains how IT vendors can enhance their appeal to buyers by making the ROI-impact of their solutions more visible and appealing. Anyone interested in taking the mystery out of maximizing value from IT investments will find Making Technology Investments Profitable: ROI Road Map to Better Business Cases a must-read.
About the Author
JACK M. KEEN is founder and president of The Deciding Factor, Inc., www.decidingfactor.com, an international provider of ROI business case tools, ROI content, workshops, and consulting. He is a noted speaker, trainer, and consultant on effective ROI methods for clients on four continents. Over 7,000 people worldwide have been trained on his acclaimed VALUE-on-Demand(TM) methods. He can be reached at email@example.com.
BONNIE DIGRIUS is Vice President of The Deciding Factor, Inc. She consults to senior executives on issues of vital importance to the enterprise, such as IT evaluation methods. She has advised over 5,000 senior managers to include CEOs, CIOs, CFOs, and VPs of Fortune 1,000 firms. She has been frequently quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, BusinessWeek and the New York Times, and has been interviewed on CNBC-TV. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Contents
About the Authors.
1. Why IT Projects Falter and How Astute BusinessCases Help Save the Day.
When IT Project Problems Are Really ROI Problems.
IT Projects: Too Many Failures, Too Many Times.
How Hidden ROI Problems Torpedo IT Success.
The Business Case: Flawed Afterthought orIT Value Star?
Spotting Business Case Defects.
Six Ways Good Business Cases Shape Project Success.
2. How to Recognize a Trustworthy Business Case.
The Business Case as a Trusted Scout.
Using the Seven C?s to Assess Content Quality.
The Seven C?s of Content Quality.
The Seven C?s Content Audit Tool for Business Cases.
3. The Importance of Good Processes.
Why Process Really Matters.
Business Case-Grounded Processes DriveBusiness Results.
Substandard Business Case Processes Abound.
Costs of Tolerating Process Problems Are High.
Symptoms of Process Problems.
Types of Process Problems.
Detecting Process Problems.
The Process Audit Tool for Business Cases.
4. Defining: Steps 1, 2, and 3 to Building BetterBusiness Cases.
Seven Hats for Seven Steps.
Step 1: SCOPE (Who Expects What?).
SCOPE in a Nutshell.
Description of Tasks.
Step 2: CRITERIA (Who Cares About What?).
CRITERIA in a Nutshell.
Description of Tasks.
Hitting the ?Dartboard-of-Value?.
Using the ValueBoard.
Using a Balanced Scorecard-Oriented ValueBoard.
Establishing Key Themes.
Finding Crucial but Elusive Criteria.
Step 3: ALIGN (Connect the Dots.).
ALIGN in a Nutshell.
Using the Value Ladder to Display Alignment.
Using the Seven Tests of Alignment.
5. Assessing: Steps 4, 5, and 6 to Building BetterBusiness Cases.
Step 4: CALCULATE (Show the Money.).
CALCULATE in a Nutshell.
Using the PayoffCard.
Description of Tasks.
Step 5: PROVE (Who Says So?).
PROVE in a Nutshell.
Description of Tasks.
Step 6: ANALYZE (Find the Winner.).
ANALYZE in a Nutshell.
Description of Tasks.
6. Delivering: Step 7 to Building Better Business Cases.
Step 7: STORYTELL (Explain It.).
STORYTELL in a Nutshell.
Description of Tasks.
7. Finding Hidden Value Others Miss.
Who Has the Value?
Finding Commonly Overlooked Value Areas.
Knowing Where to Look.
Knowing What to Look For.
8. Handling Intangibles: An Emotional Enigmaof the IT Evaluation.
The ?Intangibles Factor?: Controversial Yet Crucial.
What Is ?Intangibility,? and Why Is It Controversial?
Managing Intangibles with Skill and Style.
Five Ways to Handle Intangibles.
Converting Intangibles to Tangibles.
Using the Scoresheet to Manage Intangibles.
An ?Intangibility? Policy Memo.
Tips on Management of Intangibles.
9. Using ROI Storytelling to DriveHome the Message.
Why ROI Storytelling Drives Home the Message.
Principles of Good ROI Storytelling.
Pick the Right Story for the Right Audience.
Build Stories That Touch Human Hearts.
Use Vivid Language.
Stay Alert for Story Ideas.
10. Selecting: Prioritizing Projects withConfidence and Ease.
IT Project Selection: Replacing Anxietywith Confidence.
A Simple Project Prioritization Process.
How Are We Doing? A Quick IT Selection ProcessAudit.
A Simple Project Prioritzation Scoresheet.
PPS in Action: Three Worthwhile Projects,One Bag of Funds.
Understanding the Project PrioritizationScoresheet (PPS).
A Vendor Comparison Prioritization Scoresheet.
Business Case Submittal Standards.
Using Standardized Decision Criteria.
P3 Implementation Guidelines for theEvaluation Team.
11. Tracking: Making Sure Benefits Get Realized.
Benefits Realization: Fantasy or Fact?
The IT Benefits Realization Process Audit.
Principles of a Good IT BenefitsRealization Process.
How Good Business Cases Contribute to ITBenefits Realization Succes.
The Value Ladder: A Tool for ClarifyingBenefits Realization Targets.
12. How Vendors Use Business Case ROI toHelp Buyers Buy Better.
The Culprits and Costs of ?Value Neglect?.
Buyers Want More, Better ROI Help from Vendors.
Recognizing Vendors with ?Throwaway ROI?.
Recognizing Vendors with ?Business Case ROI?.
What Buyers Are Demanding from Vendor ROI Help.
A Vendor?s Road Map for ImprovingROI-Focused Selling.
What Is ROI-Focused Selling and Its Benefits?
18 Places in the Sales Cycle Where ROI Tools Help.
All ROI Tools Are Not Created Equal.
Top 10 Mistakes Vendors Make with ROI Tools.
A Six-Point Strategy for Upgrading Vendor ROI Efforts.
Vendor ROI Strategy Audits Identify Improvement Needs.
How Vendors Create a Compelling ROI ValueProposition Template.
Appendix A: Sample Business Case.
Appendix B: Generic ROI Template forProcess-Oriented Justifications.
Appendix C: Recap of ROI Discovery Tools inThis Book.
Appendix D: Web Site Resources.
Appendix E: Bibliography.
Appendix F: Glossary.
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