When discussing large projects (like an EHR, ERP, or replacing an HMO claims processing system) I often use the phrase “all hands on deck.” I am trying to convey that these projects not only expend IT resources, but those business leaders that need to re-develop all of their core business processes around the new technology. Additionally, there is a ripple effect that impacts senior leadership and even those in departments that you would not expect to be effected.
But, I am starting to think that isn’t an effective way to communicate the resource-intensive nature of these projects. Often I am asked what I mean by “all hands on deck.” Secretly, I fantasize about re-enacting this scene from The Professional:
Of course your business cannot come to a halt for a single project. You still need to advance other strategies and respond to competitive threats. You need to make sure you are still providing a quality service to your customers. But, I believe most organizations err to underestimating the effort. Large IT projects will impact what you can hope to acheive in other areas and if leadership’s ambitions are not scaled appropriately you will end up with overly-stressed staff and a project that doesn’t seem like it can ever get the attention it needs to finish. So, it maybe beneficial to be a little melodramatic when explaining the resource need.