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Making Technology Investments Profitable: ROI Roadmap to Better Business Cases Hardcover – November 8, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Studies show that over 50% of all Information Technology (IT) projects fail. These failures not only cost companies millions of dollars in investments but also handicap other strategic initiatives impacted by the IT projects. Flawed usage of business case project justifications is a major, unaddressed cause of these IT value shortfalls. Rather than being an ad hoc, limited-life document with scant management oversight, twenty-first century business cases must become management's primary device for identifying, tracking, and realizing IT value. Employing their globally acclaimed VALUE-on-Demand(TM) methodology, Jack Keen and Bonnie Digrius offer proven, easily applied tools for maximizing IT value in Making Technology Investments Profitable: ROI Road Map to Better Business Cases.

The authors begin by diagnosing five conditions within a company that together or separately can sabotage a sensible ROI-based approach to improving IT success:
* Tolerance by senior management of the frequency with which technology projects fail to achieve their expected business value
* Low executive awareness that a root cause of these frustrations to technology payoff is traceable to broken, yet fixable methods of creating and using business cases as an integral part of IT value management
* A mistaken belief among senior management that minor, ad hoc adjustments to existing processes will solve the problem of technology value shortfalls
* A lack of pragmatic knowledge of how to develop good, trustworthy ROI business case methods quickly and well
* A legacy of ROI business cases within the enterprise which, when closely examined, are seen to be unrealistically high, unknowingly low, and/or unconvincing

Making Technology Investments Profitable: ROI Road Map to Better Business Cases addresses each of these situations, systematically demonstrating how they can be defused to pave the way for improved returns from IT investments. Drawing upon their combined experience with over 200 IT projects in 15 countries, the authors emphasize that creating a successful ROI business case usage process is more about structured conversations than calculations, with advice on how to bring all personnel on board the program. Keeping a "how-to" focus throughout, the book delivers practical tools, techniques and tips, and offers insightful case studies and examples on how to realize more business value from IT investments. The book also includes reference to a companion Web site with additional tips and resources on VALUE-on-Demand(TM) methods.

In addition to discussing how IT buyers and users can extract more IT value from their investments, the book explains how IT vendors can enhance their appeal to buyers by making the ROI-impact of their solutions more visible and appealing. Anyone interested in taking the mystery out of maximizing value from IT investments will find Making Technology Investments Profitable: ROI Road Map to Better Business Cases a must-read.

From the Back Cover

Take the mystery-and anxiety-out of maximizing IT value

It is not unusual for companies to scrupulously analyze a fifty-dollar expense report, yet blithely commit millions of dollars to Information Technology projects that statistics show fail over 50% of the time. Making Technology Investments Profitable: ROI Road Map to Better Business Cases applies the authors proven VALUE-on-Demand(TM) methods to maximizing the business payoff from IT projects.

Jack Keen and Bonnie Digrius's forward-thinking study provides an abundance of practical tools, tips, and techniques for elevating the role of ROI-savvy business cases to become a firm's prime driver of improved payoff from IT investments. The book shows managers how to:
* Formulate simple, but powerful ROI business cases that help maximize the value from IT investments
* Develop easy-to-install procedures for selecting and prioritizing competing IT investments
* Implement straightforward methods for tracking IT value during implementation and operation

The authors include examples and case studies gleaned from their experiences in applying their VALUE-on-Demand(TM) methods to over 200 projects in North and South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Making Technology Investments Profitable: ROI Road Map to Better Business Cases provides a welcome, essential guide for CFOs, CIOs, IT managers, business unit managers, IT sellers, and consultants interested in applying simple, but powerful techniques for enhancing IT value.

"The value proposition of technology has always been about reducing cost or increasing revenue. In this book, Jack Keen and Bonnie Digrius show companies how to ensure that technology is really doing that. Making Technology Investments Profitable is direct and straightforward advice, highly recommended for companies and vendors alike."
-Craig A. Conway, President and Chief Executive Officer, PeopleSoft(r) inc.

"An extraordinary, practical, how-to-do-it book. The authors have been there, have the battle scars, and have an important message to communicate and do so with great impact. It should be on every CIO's and project manager's desktop."
-F. Warren McFarlan, Professor, Harvard Business School

"This book is packed full of practical techniques for measuring and powerfully communicating ROI. Every company, large or small, must justify their products or services to both their sales prospects and internal executives. Every businessperson needs this book!"
-Christine Comaford Lynch, General Partner, Novus Ventures

"Authors Keen and Digrius have created a powerful ensemble of topics that remove the stigma of traditional ROI process as well as offering a rare blend of conventional wisdom combined with practical guidelines, useful appendices, charts, checklists, and anecdotal user experiences. Comprehensive and complete, this book provides a litany of techniques for project success."
-Paul C. Tinnirello, Executive Vice President, Information Services Division, A. M. Best Company
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471227331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471227335
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,130,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have heard of Jack Keen and his ROI work at notable companies like PeopleSoft and Oracle where his methodologies apparently have paid off well at those companies and at others. He has long had a web site but its exciting to see his methodologies carefully described in this book and where it is easy to understand and implement. Our sales teams have quickly come up to speed on his methodologies and his ROI tool and are now able to present more compelling business cases to prospects. Engaging prospects in lively discussions about their needs and concerns is a big part of the book and it certainly has paid off well for us as we have clearly decreased our sales cycles by better putting ourselves in our prospects' shoes and more clearly understanding their needs. The result is more effective selling!
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Format: Hardcover
I had my doubts when I started reading this book. I did not believe that intangibles could be adequately taken into account in business decisions. This book changed my mind. The book was useful in indentifying how to develop the list of intangibles, how to place a value on them, and most important of all, how to put it into the language top management responds to best. This has always been one of the missing links.
The other missing link that this book brought home to me was that including team members in collecting and calculating data is as important as the calculations themselves. Assembling credible data creates support for the project among team members and within other departments. This book provides a step-by-step approach.
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Format: Hardcover
I have a pile of books that address the same subject and would not have picked this one up if a colleague had not persistently badgered me into reading it. Instead of yet another tome on business cases, ROI and value, I discovered what to me is the absolute best book on the following three areas:
(1) business case development - the authors shine here by showing how to craft a realistic business case that does look at the important factors and benefits. More importantly, you're shown how NOT to write a business case, and common problems with too many business cases that are presented (and all-too-often accepted). This aspect of the book alone raises the bar in business case development.
(2) properly computing ROI that is real - in many organizations ROI is a forbidden word and NPV used instead. One reason for this is it's rarely computed correctly. Before reading this book I used ROI as a quick and dirty gage, but always looked to NPV as the deciding factor when exploring the feasibility to a project or solution. The way the authors expose fallacies of improper ROI computation, and how to avoid them is invaluable, and will restore credibility to ROI as a realistic indicator.
(3) assuring value - the VALUE-on-Demand approach the authors propose is a straightforward method for evaluating, selecting and prioritizing projects. This methodology has no flaws that I can find, and will add structure, clarity and process to governance.
Regardless of your experience, there is much to learn from this book. It can serve as a company 'how-to' guide and standard as is with little-to-no tailoring, and represents the best book I own on business case development and determining ROI. It's also one of the best books on establishing a viable governance program I've read.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was worth the price I paid for it even before I reached page 10. I've spent 15 years in the business analysis office of a major corporation funding internal projects. This book confirms what I've been doing and adds what seems to be another 15 years of experience. It organizes the process so that my job has gotten a lot easier, a lot quicker and is percieved as being fair. The book reveals successful techniques the authors have personally implemented for their cleints. These people have insight and they know what works in the real world.
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By A Customer on January 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this incredible book and will be referring to it often in the days and months to come. This is the first book I've seen that gives me the details on how to prioritize IT investments across an organization as well as how to communicate the justification for a specific project convincingly and with the maximum chance of success. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover
Keen & Digrius have written a bible that covers a lot of ground. This excellent book is a litany of other peoples' mistakes - about a billion bucks worth of mistakes! There are checklists of do's & don'ts, many of them not obvious. It's perfectly clear from the book that flaws in project reasoning can be fixed if detected, and well-reasoned technology investments will give you a big advantage in the marketplace.
I saw Digrius speak at a Gartner symposium when she was VP at Gartner Group, and the same insight & humor she brought to the symposium sparkles throughout the book. I'd be eagerly awaiting the sequel, but I think they have already covered all the bases.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow, this is great! I just read the Harvard Business Review and I think this book brings out more concepts in area of TCO/ROI that were not covered in the HBR.
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By Dan Burgin on February 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book was sent to me from a friend in San Jose. She thought I would gain a basic idea of how to implement these TCO methods. Well this book is the beginning of my exploration into strategic TCO initiatives. I plan to have two or three of my senior managers read it!
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