Project Monitoring Reduces Risk in IT Projects

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I think Ronald Reagan put it best when he said, “trust, but verify”. Sure, Reagan was talking about the Soviets complying with arms treaties, but this policy holds true for any area where you want to verify that people are adhering to rules and agreements.

If you want to know how well your people are using your technology or following your business processes, you need to “trust, but verify”. Audits are great ways to do this.

Audits are an effective tool used in many areas of your organization

Most organizations already audit some part of their organization. Accounting and finance gets audited. Quality gets audited (ISO900X anyone?). Even calls to your call center “may be recorded for quality and training purposes”.

So why is it you aren’t auditing your IT user adoption?

Audits identify areas of problems and corrective action

The reason audits have been used in so many areas of an organization, for so many years, is that they work. Audits are an effective way to check to see what is really happening in your organization, determine where you have problems, and define specific actions and deadlines for correcting problems.If 25% of an IT project's value can be lost due to poor user adoption, don't you owe to yourself and your company to have a user adoption plan?

User adoption – and in turn ROI – of your IT systems has been a major problem for years. One study from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) indicated that up to 25% of the value of an IT system may be lost simply due to poor user adoption. If you could increase the value of your IT investment by 25%, do you think that it might be worth an audit? We do.

Audits communicate priorities, drive user behavior and increase ROI

I was recently speaking with a sales rep for a Fortune 100 insurance company. He indicated that he was spending his Friday afternoon – like most every Friday afternoon – catching up on updating ALL of his weekly activities in the system. He shared that his management looks at system generated reports every week and they conduct major audits at least twice a year. The audit was based on the accuracy, timeliness and completeness of the information he entered in the system. And his commissions depended on passing every audit.

So, if you want to drive desired user adoption of your system, while increasing ROI of your IT investment, conducting audits – with meaningful consequences (read: impact on commission) – are a very effective way to go.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jason Whitehead
Jason Whitehead is CEO of Tri Tuns, LLC, an organizational effectiveness consultancy specializing in driving and sustaining effective user adoption of IT systems. He works at the intersection of technology, process, culture and people to help clients actually achieved measurable business benefits from their technology investments.

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