Build plans based on sound data and agile principles
It's been said that plans are useless but planning is indispensable. Your IT program must be built on accurate data while remaining flexible enough to adapt as the situation warrants. Leverage an agile work management approach to build resilient, successful IT programs.
Breaking big IT projects into a series of smaller ones is generally less risky and allows for lessons learned to be rapidly understood and applied. Use your data to understand how a big deployment can be better broken up by business, function, or desired outcome.
It's fairly obvious that without an accurate assessment of data you can't know how big a problem truly is or what it will take to solve it. But because you understand your data upfront you can plan for, and justify, the resources you'll need for a successful outcome.
What's worse than an impossible deadline that can't be met? It results in poor program quality, stressed out teams, and frustrated leadership. Use your data to set realistic expectations right from the start.
Things happen. By understanding your data in real time you can react to unexpected circumstances or discoveries. Need to stand down for an unexpected change freeze? Good to know that your data will be current, accurate, and ready to pick back up as soon as programs get moving again.
Nothing gives the executive team more confidence than early wins executed flawlessly. Use your data to find "low hanging fruit" that can be delivered early and properly to test your team and your processes.
Data-driven programs are inherently more transparent than non-data driven programs because all reporting is occurring in real time based upon real system information. Good data speeds up reporting, eliminates finger pointing, and lets everyone know what is and isn't working.