I was reading my regular assortment of information today and ran across a great blog from Joe McKendrick. In the article Joe talks about the mythe of ROI in the motivation of IT projects. The hardest part of figuring out any return is to properly capture present state and then be able to capture the effect of the change on the business.
As he mentions, there are many drivers in business that are hard to find a direct return. One of my favorites was always "Customer experience – do they really buy more or cost less". Indirect value propositions are hard to monitor. If I send a coupon and ask for the code, I can track the purchase, but would I have bought anyway? Don’t get me wrong I am a HUGE believer in customer experience – it is the Brand – the experience of value.
The challenge is that when someone finds a business value that is a hot button in support of corporate strategy, often they squeek projects in that are not really driving the value – just a favorite way to get projects approved.
As many acronyms and buzz words get invented, accepted and overused we need to be careful. But more importantly we need to educate everyone in the value chain how this works.