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The Intersection of Value and Feasibility

One of the responsibilities of a world-class IT organization is to proactively guide the business in terms of options and opportunities that allow the business to meet their objectives.

For example, if the business team is interested in expanding business to Emerging Markets, IT should proactively think about capabilities such as the ability to provide local language interfaces, the ability to scale Channel Sales through EM partners, pricing and tax impacts, 2 Tier selling models, etc.

In all cases IT should consider the approach of considering the intersection of business value and feasibility when suggesting a roadmap or set of options to the business team.

The intersection of business value and feasibility is an important concept because the IT portfolio should be constructed of projects that provide value but at the same time are actually possible to execute. This may seem obvious but I have seen many situations in which IT signs up for a "high-value" and "no feasibility" projects. This may occur for a variety of reasons:

1) IT misconstrues 'desire to execute' with 'ability to execute'; hubris
2) unwillingness by IT to admit that they do not have the skills to execute
3) unwillingness by IT to influence the business not to undertake a low feasibility project
4) lack of experience by IT to identify low feasibility

If IT is acting as a trusted business partner, IT should be guiding the business towards options that fall within a reasonable feasibility range. This requires IT to ask the following questions (and honestly answer them!):

1) do I have the skills in the team necessary to execute?
2) do I have the funding necessary to execute?
3) do I have the ability to stay focused on executing if the project spans multiple quarters?
4) is there a better way to deliver business value that is more feasible?

Bottom line - Do not overload your IT portfolio with a set of "no or low feasibility" projects. Ensure that you are balancing some level of risk-taking but also have some slam-dunk successes in process.

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