From our recent ‘Connected Communities 2019’ event at the BT Tower (see page 42), which covered some pretty diverse business and technology areas, we’ve compiled an interesting and consistent group of pointers around the successful delivery of business-related IT projects.
- Speed – Aim to move fast and nimbly with new projects, with an emphasis on the rapid creation of minimum viable products (MVPs) that can be tested, reviewed and refined (and where necessary, scrapped). The focus on web-based, modular IT services should encourage a ‘move fast and break things’ mindset.
- Cost and procurement – The government’s CCS frameworks cover almost every category of IT and business applications that housing providers could need. Frameworks are generally faster and cheaper than OJEU-style procurements and what you might lose in terms of bespoke fitting to your needs (the 80/20 rule), you’ll gain in terms of agility, speed and cost. Furthermore, a ‘capped time and materials’ basis for new developments gives you more control than a fixed-cost approach and greater ability to evolve your needs throughout the project (c.f. MVPs, above).
- Diversity – Project teams comprising members with diverse backgrounds have been repeatedly shown to deliver the best results across criteria such as innovation, time and cost. Aside from the moral and ethical aspects of pursuing an equality agenda, you will achieve better results by actively seeking out diversity.
- Culture and demographics – You know that the demographics of your tenants are changing, so too are the demographics of your staff and colleagues, therefore take a look at the culture of how, when and where your staff want to work. While your new cohort of workers might prefer WhatsApp instead of email, they still have the same aspirations from their careers as older generations, as well as being more tech-savvy – so reassess which technology tools best suit them to achieve your corporate objectives without blindly clinging to the vestiges of an outdated working culture.
- Data, data, data – The most brilliantly executed project is doomed if your underlying data sources are inaccurate and inconsistent; or in other words, don’t put old wine in new bottles because it’ll still taste horrid.