Emerald Business Systems Blog


“I Stopped Caring About Your Requirements Last Friday”

Posted in POS,Restaurant,Retail by ebs4pos on October 22, 2009

One challenge in a franchise IT environment is “requirements bloat.” Similar to a bill traveling through Congress, to garner support from different functional areas and franchisees, IT project requirements keep piling up as more people weigh in.

The next phase of this process is typically a debate over which requirements should be included and which should be trimmed. The impact of which requirements are used is significant. I have seen a single requirement from a single franchisee raise the cost of a chain-wide IT project by more than 25 percent.

What often happens is a sort of gridlock, where a project stalls under its own weight. Typically, the debate divides over party lines. Conservatives (those who believe that IT is simply a cost-suck) and Progressives (those who believe that IT drives business value) generally are split over the “smallest/cheapest/simplest technology” and the “ring every possible ounce of value out of it” divide.

Nobody can agree on what is important, and there is very little movement toward compromise. Although the brand will—in most cases–ultimately decide the final direction, the hope is to do so with as much franchisee support as possible. Sometimes the greatest support for a given project design might be only 30 percent. How do you battle against this type of gridlock? Start saying “No” right up front.

via StorefrontBacktalk » Blog Archive » “I Stopped Caring About Your Requirements Last Friday”.

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