I was called by a potential client to make a proposal for a Strategic System Plan. The company had organized a steering committee and a working group to develop the plan and were looking for consulting assistance. Many consultants have a very extensive methodology for developing a strategic systems plan. I asked if before I made a proposal I had an opportunity to talk with some of the key players. I discovered that the key vice president who controlled ninety percent of the budget was not on the steering committee. First warning sign. Next the Director of Information Systems was not on the committee or the working group. Second warning sign. I decided that the organization was not ready for a big planning exercise and the key executives needed to have more confidence in the capability of the systems organization.
I proposed that we start with a project that would produce some rapid results and increase the confidence in the systems organization. The management committee bought the plan and we really saved the organization from a huge effort that would have produced a beautiful plan that had no hope of being implemented. After a couple of rapid results projects and confidence in the systems group was established, major improvements were made in the way systems served the organization.