Who's in charge ? ? ?
You wouldn’t put a painter in charge of an accountancy firm - even though he may do his own accounts. You wouldn’t put a mechanic in charge of a lingerie firm even though he may know all about his wife’s clothes. You wouldn’t put a lawyer in charge of a garage even though he drives a car.
So why do people always think they should be in charge of IT when they know nothing about it.
We’ve all seen it. The guy who has a PC at home and has created his first web page. Suddenly he is an IT Expert! He knows all about it and somewhere down the line he meets up with the MD who perhaps knows even less. The meeting results in our expert being put in charge of a major project. You can guess the rest.
I know of one top 100 Law Firm whose marketing department decided that they would purchase a CRM (Customer Relations Management) program. They listened to the guys who were selling the program - who surprisingly, were very positive about the product! No contact was made with the firm’s IT department. Bear in mind that Law Firms are supposed to be composed of intelligent people! The law firm bought the product and delivered the software to the IT Department and asked how long it would take to load this on to the system. When they had it explained to them that they would need to prepare / clean their data and that they would need to buy upgrades of their core operating systems, upgraded the licences, upgrade other interfacing programs and so on, they were very surprised! The cost added was around £250,000. The work was accomplished in due course and many man hours were incurred. Their (the lawyers and Marketing Department) excuse was that they didn’t understand the complex terminology used in IT. How is your Latin? Think about the language that Laywers use! What about these terms Res nulis, Coram non judice, Doli incapax, Uberrima fides etc. So on that basis we shouldn’t bother to consult a lawyer should we?
This is why government projects always go wrong, cost so much money and do not deliver. Incidentally, have you noticed how many MPs are Lawyers? There is a lesson there somewhere!
It is true that one doesn’t need detailed knowledge but the overall concept and principles MUST be present or projects will surely go awry.
There are very few out there who have the vision to see the final solution (big projects) and the way to get there. They are rare - very rare.
Let technical people make technical decisions.