Sunday, May 25, 2008

Failed Successes

I found an excellent article on ‘failed successes’ in CIO Magazine - “Applied Insight - Tracks in the Snow” By R. Ryan Nelson.

When Success Is Failure

We call these "failed successes." For example, a real estate management company successfully completed a two-year project to develop a Lotus Notes–based CRM application that was designed to provide strategic advantage in leasing vacant space. The project met all the project specifications but didn’t successfully integrate with the company’s business processes. So in the end, no one used it. The company’s CTO put it best: "The application is 100 percent effective at 100 percent participation and zero percent effective at 95 percent participation."

Similarly, projects considered failures according to traditional IT metrics may wind up being successes because despite cost, time or specification problems, the system is loved by its target audience or provides unexpected value. For example, at a financial services company, a new system to enable rapid development, testing, deployment and measurement of collections strategies and to improve collections performance was six months late and cost more than twice the original estimate (final cost was $5.7 million). But the project ultimately created a more adaptive organization (after 13 months) and was judged to be a great success—the company had a $33 million reduction in write-off accounts, and the reduced time-to-value and increased capacity resulted in a 50 percent increase in the number of concurrent collection strategy tests in production.

Full Article Link: http://www.cio.com/article/24423/Applied_Insight_Tracks_in_the_Snow

Though the article dated Sep-2006, It is worth reviewing even today.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Nothing fails like success

Arnold Toynbee, great historian said that you can pretty well summarize all of history-not only of society, but of institutions and of people-in four words:Nothing fails like success.

In other words, when a challenge in life is met by a response that is equal to it, you have a success. But when the challenge moves to a higher level, the old, once successful response no longer works - it fails; thus, nothing fails like success.

-- by Stephen.R.Covey