Why does strategic planning fail? I hope the assertion that strategic planning does fail is not a surprise to anyone since it would perpetuate another fallacy of planning. The Harvard Business Review puts the ROI of traditional planning at 34% or less. In fact according to several surveys of top executives only 19% of strategic plans achieve their objectives.
Ten days have passed since the announcement of the Datatel and SunGard deal. Although the updates from both companies have stopped, the speculation, conjecture, and hyperbole from the industry and customer communities have not. Even if we had a crystal ball it probably wouldn’t help us see with any certainty what the future holds 12 or 18 months from now let alone beyond that.
Look at any US college website and you find the usual set of icons to connect, share or follow in social media. Facebook and Twitter are the obligatory links with LinkedIn, YouTube, and Flickr almost as common along with one or more RSS feeds. This is no different for the average company or non-profit.
The Fallacy of Planning says we are terrible at planning how long something will take and how much it will cost. Restated another way, the planning fallacy is people’s tendency to underestimate what it will take to get something done. The phenomenon of the planning fallacy ought not be a big surprise to any CIO or project management professional given the attention it has received over the years. What may be a surprise though is the pervasiveness of the fallacy of planning in our organizations and the cumulative impact it has on IT and the CIO’s reputation for delivering results.
Early August is often the calm before the storm for campus IT departments. Summer sessions are wrapping up and there are about 30 days until the fall term begins. Like many CIO’s, your project management system reflects ambitious project schedules for the summer to take advantage of everyone being away and the availability of funds from your new budget. It is during this time of year project management controls often get relaxed causing unnecessary project delays on the critical path to preparing for fall classes.