Emerging Tech Projects - Avoid these common pitfalls.

Context of the Enterprise

Recently there has been a lot of interest in the enterprise with Generative AI. Besides the natural impact it can make in the organization - everyone is keen on being the first to land the impact amongst their peers. In this race - some of the gaps are clearly evident in my discussions with enterprise leaders and executives. If you are one of those executives who have the mandate to set up and land the first wave of impact from AI - here are somethings practical advice to consider.

Emerging Tech Projects - Avoid these common pitfalls.

Scope and Impact

Given the newness of the technology - what it really needs is some champions and sponsors. What you need to get those - are some quick wins - to demonstrate the practical application of the technology in the context of your business. While you work through the prioritization don’t forget sizing the programme. If anything takes more than 3-6months to land and adopt - you are being overly ambitious. Esp. for something that hasn’t been done in your organization before. Review/Reduce/Phase the scope but land the change fast.

On the other hand - as you look at the business process or customer experience to enhance using AI - don’t forget to be brutally honest to identify the area of bottleneck. No matter how tempting it might be to work on other aspects of the process. If you don’t solve for the point of bottle neck you will not be able to demonstrate outsized impact. If its before the bottleneck, you will accelerate a bit but then get stuck behind the old process. if you optimize after the bottleneck, you will not be able to maximize its benefit as the throughput to the enhanced process itself will be constraint due to the bottleneck,


Enterprises, specifically highly matrix’ed organizations have a huge problem here. Often the leader for an initiative like this is a technology executive - but the impact area has a functional leader or often multiple leaders as it might cut across various processes. This posses two different potential problems. You either are in a place with too many owners but no one decision maker. Or there is a technology project owner but the functional owner isn’t bought into it as they see it as an IT side project and not something that will move the needle for them.

Exec sponsorship, clear ownership, governance model and visibility of the value proposition of the solution solves a lot of this. Ensure there is a clear RACI for this in place and everyone is aligned with it.

Landing Change and Integration in systems

Building on the point about scope that i mentioned above - another critical area is the amount of IT change required to land the change itself. If this means the entire IT system needs to be ripped and replaced to established a new technology or migrate to a new cloud provider - then it only adds to the time, risk to the project.

For a project that is impactful, reasonably well scoped and has clear owners both technical and functional there needs to be clarity on where in the as-is IT landscape this bit of technology will land. More importantly how well will it integrate in the upstream and downstream systems.

Some of these are very obvious things - but in the race to adopt emerging tech they are easily over looked.

I would love to hear what kind of challenges are you seeing in your organization landing new technologies and initiatives and how are you solving for them

Photo by Lacey Raper on Unsplash