Want to screw up your next technology project? I can help!
Over the past 22 years, my technology services company has screwed up plenty of software and technology implementations. Sure, we've had lots of successes. But we've also had dozens of tear-stained, profanity-filled, fist-through-the wall failures, so much so that I've become an expert in screwing up projects. So whether you're implementing a new office collaboration system, customer relationship management or financial accounting software, a network of devices and services or a project management application you can easily screw up your project and waste time and money just by following these three easy steps.
First, don't have anyone internally manage your project.
You'll be fine! Just rely solely on your technology partners. You know - the people who are sitting in those call centers in India or are talking to you from their Porsches in Silicon Valley. They love you and of course they have your very best interests at heart. Don't you worry. These people are committed to working around the clock to make sure that everything is implemented correctly and on time. It's not as if they have other clients and projects or that they're under (or over) paid, stressed out, tired and are most likely in the middle of a job search.
Sure, you could have an internal person take ownership of the project, learn the ins-and-outs of the software or hardware you're buying, get trained and then train others. You could have that same person be the one to supervise outside consultants and tech support, understand how the software can be customized or hardware configured and then document everything as it applies to your company. But geez that takes time and money and besides, everyone's busy enough as it is! It's fine if no one internally is accountable for the results. Just let things ride and put the fate of your investment in the hands of a firm that has no stake in your outcome and couldn't give two you-know-whats about your business. Again, you'll be fine.
Second, make sure not to have any clear-cut deliverables.
Project plans? Feh! Tasks and responsibility reminders? Please! This stuff just overcomplicates things, right? You don't need to track the progress that people are making or whether or not the system is on schedule. Just keep your goals and objectives as open as possible. Who wants to bother with timelines or due dates, anyway? Chill out dude, smoke a doobie, have a craft bourbon. Life is too short man and people are just too stressed out with all these things they're supposed to be "doing." It can really harsh your mellow.
Enough with all of this "delivering" of things that can be measured, like reports or training or customizations. Don't get caught up in nonsense like "go-live dates" and "system testing" and "migrating data." That's for those corporate jerks who are ruining the world. Sure, these are proven ways to determine that a job is on-track and on budget but c'mon...that kind of stuff just adds pressure and we all have enough stress to deal with in our lives, right?
Finally, try to do as much as possible right away.
What's with the delays? If you're implementing a complicated software system then stop messing around! Just push a button. That's all that it takes. Move those deadlines way, way up. Push, push, push your people and partners to accomplish impossible things in an unreasonable amount of time. There's no need to have a long term outlook or break down your project into manageable, bite-sized phases where your team can show steady progress and enjoy successes over a reasonable time span.
Instead, crack that whip and get the whole project out of the way in say...oh...the next few days, OK? I'm sure there won't be any problems with data, connections, miscommunications, bugs, misapplied customizations, forgotten tasks, lost orders, frustrated employees and aggravated customers. They're all a bunch of wimps anyway. This is the 21st century for goodness sake and doesn't that ad in the back of your in-flight magazine promise that you'll double your sales in just a few weeks after installing that new software system? Time is money people, time is money!
See how easy it is to screw up your next technology project? Given my vast experience with this topic I can assure you that any one of these ways will do the trick. So feel free to try or try them all. It's your business and your money so why not? And when things get super-screwed-up please be sure to blame me. That's exactly what my clients always do.