Monday, 11 May 2009

What about IRACIS?

Following on from my post on bringing back Systems Analysts, and continuing a theme related to grandmothers and eggs, I received a comment about development teams not understanding the true objectives of a new system – a comment I agree with - indeed, in my experience, there are situations where many directors/managers cannot explain nor quantify why a development is taking place (although I’ve found that this latter symptom is much more prevalent in the public sector than the private sector).

Back in my analyst days (admittedly a long time ago) we had the acronym IRACIS drummed into us to define the benefits of new systems –
Improve Revenue,
Avoid Cost,
Improve Service

Personally, as well as bringing back Systems Analyst roles, I believe it’s time to re-emphasise the importance of IRACIS to ensure that the benefits of new systems are better defined and understood across the whole organisation – from sponsoring Director, through managers and down to the most junior of the development team.

(Fortunately, many developments do have the expected benefits defined well, but it’s amazing how many don’t - and also how many projects that have their expected benefits defined don’t try to quantify those expected benefits, nor measure them post implementation, to see if the benefits have been realised).

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