How to lose $10 million a minute

That’s what it can cost when you implement technology systems poorly.

News stories like the one about Knight Trading losing over $440 million dollars due to “a computer glitch” from a new trading system implementation reminds me of the resistance I have often experienced from leaders of organizations on how to implement new technology systems.

Like I’ve talked about before, Enterprise change needs to be executed in the order of the People, Process, Technology.

This concept has been proven over and over again, yet many of today’s old school executives think “it’s just a technology upgrade” and proceed to implement it without focusing on the people and processes that will change due to the upgrade.

They don’t dedicate the right type and amount of resources and think you can just muscle in a new system. I’ve seen it many times from inexperienced executives that don’t understand technology, don’t embrace project management best practices and don’t have a good working relationship with the IT department.

Many think project management, governance, business analysis and documentation add too much cost to a project and therefore discount it’s usefulness. The thinking that using a project methodology adds too much red tape to the process of implementing technology is a clear sign that you’re in way over your head.

Knight Trading’s experience highlights a great example of what can go wrong on technology projects when poor leadership, planing and governance are not in place.

I don’t know the details of exactly what went wrong but having been apart of many large software implementations I would bet this “glitch” had more to do with leadership, planing and governance than it did with technology.

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