Are you measuring the business value of your IT projects? It is so worth the effort!
I have referenced a number of autonomic technology projects(or proof of concepts) recently completed that have demonstrated quantifable business value. I must admit, the ability to measure business value creation did not come naturally to me (or to many of the IT groups we have worked with) and thus required a very deliberate focus.
How do we measure the impact on revenue or costs of business processes supported by IT? The majority of CIOs admit that they find it difficult to measure and communicate the business value of IT related projects to the business unit. Yet most agree that projects supported by IT consistently yield a higher return than those that are not. Given today's business climate, it is more important than ever to measure IT driven business value to insure we make the right investment decisions as we move forward.
Although the study of business value creation is largely an unfamiliar space for many technologists we can begin to build our ability to do this as a scientific approach. Here are 3 things to consider to get started:
1) Develop a set of value categories and a common taxonomy - Start by defining a small set of the most compelling measurements - you can(and will) expand these over time.
2) Measure before, during, and after - Believe it or not, for the majority of IT projects, quantification of business value is an afterthought. Start with the base case - It is critical to do the value measurement using the value categories agreed upon PRIOR to the IT project. Repeat these same measurements at agreed to project checkpoints, at project completion, and at agreed to points during the lifecycle.
3) Communicate the results (and consider your audience) - Before you go forward with your findings consider who you will be presenting to. Translate /communicate value in the terms and context meaningful to the target audience.