Intangible Systems, Products, and Benefits

Carrying on a conversation that started earlier (here and here), Mary Adams delves more deeply into the intangible nature of IT (here).  I really liked this ‘graph:

It’s much more powerful to ask the question, “when we invest in this system, what do we expect to happen?” and then try to create measurements around this.

It gets to what happens in our business: we model the real world in software, the software tries to optimize the model, we intervene and tweak, then the software manipulates the “real world” to order a widget, ship the widget, warehouse the widget, plan, control and monitor the production line for a new widget production run, etc.

Working through the system’s dynamics — all the way to the interfaces with “reality ” and those tangible benefits — is a powerful way to ensure you’ve thought through the value of the proposed project.

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