Buffet budgets make buffet sized projects

Whenever you hear of a new IT project starting up with a large budget, teams of tens or hundreds of people, and a timeline of many months before something actually gets shipped, you can expect the project will go over time and budget and not deliver the expected value.

I've been reading through Lean Enterprise. It's good. It's like a summary of the last 5 or so years of software product development strategy think (how do make a business and products that people will use and result in a high company valuation), sprinkle with hints of how to apply that in enterprise-land.

There's the explore/exploit loop (some thick academic reading there if you're into PDFs) where I'm hoping the enterprise-y part starts to get involved more. I think the ratio between those two, compared to tech startups, is key to understanding enterprise IT, esp. when it comes to tryng to change. Lydia calls it "bi-modal" IT, which is a nice framing. Jonathan Murray also touches on it a bit in his talks about getting Warner Music to be more digital enterprise-y.

Beyond manual entry

This is a fun point with a good enterprise-y use case on how much change is actually required to "go digital":

A typical approach to digitalization in this scenario is to have a nurse carry an electronic tablet rather than a clipboard with papers, and use the tablet to enter data directly into the EHR system while conducting the rest of the process the same way as before. While "mobile-enabling" the process adds a few new benefits (more accurate data available more quickly), it does not present a fundamental change to the work. It still involves manual entry data and still takes a lot of time. Worse, Peter is still spending a significant time on activities that don't involve providing direct care to his patients.

Instead, if caregivers like Peter and others work with a team of technical and management individuals with healthcare experience and skills, the hospital where he works could radically rethink the work and embrace even more digital technology. Such Internet of Things (IoT) technologies will vary according to the problem they need to solve, but in a hospital this could include smart beds, connected physiological monitors, and smart ventilators and IV pumps. By instrumenting the bed and a variety of other physical objects, vital patient information can now be transferred electronically directly into the EHR environment – no paper, no human data entry.

Otherwise, yeah, you're just moving manual entry to tap entry. It might solve back-end problems of cleaning the data, cut that's likely not enough.