Blueprint, Prototype or Pilot: Which Is Right?

Sometimes it's difficult to know which option is best for getting a new project approved, but getting stakeholder buy-in in the early stages is vital.

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Another reason to use a pilot when implementing a major change, as opposed to just relying on a prototype, is that a failed pilot can be shelved or declared a stepping stone to the next version, but a full-scale implementation that goes wrong on the first rollout can kill your career.

Pay Attention to Your Stakeholders

The choice is yours, but make the choice with your stakeholders. It’s up to you, as the IT leader, to decide which of the aforementioned options is right for your project, but I suggest you include your stakeholders in the decision.

Consider sharing the above guidelines, and any other relevant information, with your stakeholders during an early steering committee meeting to help make the decision about which user experience tool to use in the project. Not only will it be easier to get the project funded but when it’s their choice, they are more likely to emphatically support it. And their support is vital to its eventual success.

Please share your experiences, ideas and suggestions about blueprints, prototypes, and pilots, or getting new projects approved, in the below Comments section.

About the Author

Marc J. Schiller has spent more than two decades teaching IT strategy and leadership to the world’s top companies. Through online courses, speaking engagements and corporate consulting, his company educates IT pros at all levels on how to be more effective, influential and successful in their IT careers. Get access to free videos and an excerpt from his book, The 11 Secrets of Highly Influential IT Leaders, at www.marcjschiller.com/resources.

To read his previous CIO Insight article, "Five Steps to Fixing a Broken IT Project," click here. 

This article was originally published on 06-24-2014
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