Application Assessments Are Done WITH you, not TO You!

If I hire a consultancy to perform an application assessment / analysis, why do my application people need to be involved? Great question!

Short answer: They simply MUST be involved “.” (e.g. period!)

Longer answer: We, even us consultants, wish it were that easy – sign the SOW and go do an assessment to the client. LOL! Do I actually get paid for this kind of activity?

It’s a tremendous burden to lead transformation by yourself. It cannot be done single-handedly. As portfolios grow and become increasingly complex, conflicting needs and plans arise. No longer can one leader make all the decisions. Rather than trying to handle larger responsibilities alone, look for ways of sharing the load so that others may leverage their abilities and vision.

Enter the consultancy…

Boldness is not reckless impulsiveness. Boldness requires courage to press on and do what you know is right. To gain boldness, you must:

  • Insure you have executive buy-in, from the business, IT and CXO level
  • Look for opportunities to reduce complexity, reduce operational costs, and increase strategic investment
  • Realize that denial, shared discomfort, and awkwardness are not necessarily persecution of your transformation vision

Without portfolio-unity, transformation becomes yet another IT project doomed to failure.

Where do I start? How do I found the journey? How do I define the path?

OK – you are at least asking the correct questions! It is not a membership requirement in order to be a part of any transformation. Organizational structure is not an executive command. Do you see both internal and external problems facing your portfolio of applications? Internally: shadow IT and underground applications; complexity headaches? Outside: firm being pressured by oppressive competition and excessive client demands?

You, as a transformation leader, MUST keep your focus on what is most important – transforming the portfolio to provide the business with improved ___ (e.g. any answer is correct as long as it starts with ‘to provide the business with improved…”).

Ask yourself, can an outsider answer the following questions with any level of accuracy without input from your team?

  • What does the future business look like (not just industry-wide, but specifically, to your company) so that the future portfolio is aligned?
  • What is the business impact of key applications – numbers of users, usage statistics, process SMEs?
  • What are the current costs of each application for support, software license costs, infrastructure costs, and so forth?
  • What are the current standards, policies, and procedures pertaining to applications / infrastructure development and maintenance?
  • What are the current / planned projects that may impact any transformation?
  • What are the current development and maintenance productivity and performance metrics, current governance structure, policies, standards and procedures?

CAUTION: Any consultancy that tells you they can accurately identify any of the above without input from your staff – don’t hire them!

See you in the future…

Frank Wood

Executive Transformation Strategist


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