Written by Ruth Fisk, Global Insurance Director at DataBank IMX
How can you tell that spring is in full swing? The cracking of the bats during Major League Baseball’s Spring Training, of course.
Celebrating 150 years, Baseball is an All American Sport and I can’t wait to get to my first game this year. Born in Michigan, I was destined to be a baseball fan where our teams have produced some of the greatest players. Detroit Tiger Outfielder Ty Cobb has the highest batting average in Major League Baseball (MLB) history. Even Babe Ruth, the greatest baseball player of all time couldn’t beat this record, only securing the tenth highest batting average in history.
Players are deemed successful if they bat .300 which translates to a 30% success rate. Think about that for a moment. Are you as successful in business with the same 30% success rate? Ty Cobb is the all-time career batting average leader at .366. His career ended in 1928 yet no one has been able to surpass most of his records.
Now the question is, was it ability or luck?
What about successful Insurance IT projects? Or should I say the lack of success? Does the same apply to them? Is it ability or luck? Do only the greats actually deliver? If you follow the data, certainly the scoreboard is laden with IT projects that have gone awry.
Let’s take a look at some of the data that the Standish Group has collected on IT Development projects since 1985:
- They consistently report that only 30% of projects are successful, which is defined as on budget, on time, and with all planned features.
- The costs associated with these failures are staggering, with estimates ranging from $50 to $75 billion annually.
- In the 1980s, IT projects were failed, on average, about 60-70% of the time. Now, almost 30 years later, they still fail at the same rate
Failed projects leave insurers on the hook for the expense of software, hardware, and other infrastructure costs. When projects with anticipated operational improvement returns do fail, not only are those benefits not realized, but processes may be made worse and more costly.
For those of you that like to keep score, here is one for you to watch. Working with an experienced partner to stand up these projects increases your success rate dramatically. In fact, the right vendor can go so far as to guarantee a successful implementation. By leveraging their experience and team you can really take that burden off your own staff and rely on their expertise.
Ability or luck?
To hit a moving baseball pitched at 95mph, there is zero luck. Although luck may be on our side, we believe that it still takes ability to consistently deliver relevant software solutions, with very high customer satisfaction and zero failures.