Robert Tait is Lead Consultant at Nova Systems for mission-critical ICT/OT Systems and he holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics) and an MBA. Robert’s professional career spans more than 30 years and during this time he has been involved in providing both technical and management advice on many mission-critical communications projects across various industry sectors from emergency services through to the resources and transport sectors.
Most recently Robert was involved in a Santos project to implement one of the largest private LTE (4G) networks in the Southern Hemisphere and which subsequently won several industry awards. The project was challenging due to its technical level of difficulty, remoteness of locations, extreme weather conditions and the need to ensure no interruption to Santos’ oil and gas production operations. The learnings and experience that Robert has gained from this project, and a variety of different mission-critical projects that he has been involved with over the years, places him in a great position to share valuable insights into what is needed to make a technology project successful.
Thursday 13 June: 10.00am-10.30am
Ensuring your next critical communications project is a success
While selecting the right technology is a necessary and important part of ensuring your next critical communications project is a success, it is only one of several important factors that need to be addressed. This presentation will provide audience members with an insight into other key factors that are often overlooked by technologists, including the all-important business case that is needed to justify the required project funding. Central to achieving success, is understanding the important linkages between the technology and the business processes (from either a revenue generation or cost efficiency perspective); as well as the linkages to the key stakeholders that are fundamental to achieving the desired outcomes. The process of seeking funding for new technology investments (for example, the upgrade of an analog mobile radio system to digital) remains an ongoing challenge for many organisations. This is often due to the inability to clearly and succinctly articulate the ‘cost benefit’ analysis within the business case; with appropriate ‘use cases’ that demonstrate the business value created via either cost reductions and/or increases in revenue. While technology managers have an important part to play here, technology vendors don’t often help by focusing on the features of the technology rather than the benefits. In addition, technology managers need to appropriately engage with key funding stakeholders within their organisation to ensure that their needs are reflected in the business case. In particular, the benefits of “cost reductions” from technology can only be achieved through changes to existing business operations (including ultimate staff reductions) and therefore all affected areas of management need to have an ownership stake in the business case. Even after funding is obtained, many organisations continue to struggle in successfully executing technology projects. There are a number of factors including inadequate governance, a poorly defined scope (and associated cost estimates), the application of inappropriate project methodologies, not engaging the right SMEs, a lack of the right project team culture and not adequately involving the key stakeholders. Unfortunately, technology projects are often initiated with limited consideration of these factors and with the majority of focus on the technology. Appropriate disciplines need to be established within the project team to ensure that things are not only being done right, but also that priority is being given to doing the right things. This presentation will draw on key learnings from various business-critical projects that have been implemented over the years.