DIY Disasters

When people take on home renovation “Do-It-Yourself” projects beyond their skills, disaster ensues. Apparently, this is so common that you can base a whole TV series on this theme – where professionals rescue the disastrous DIY project for the grateful and clueless amateur handyman.

I’ve seen the same thing happen in many IT projects. The people in the organization overestimate their own skills and are unable or unwilling to pay the cost of professional external assistance. Unfortunately, the outcome is often the same as for the DIY home projects above.

A recent example is the still-not-finished Cover Oregon healthcare website. IT World reports that Oregon decided to do the system integration themselves, using software and consultants from Oracle Corporation. They struggle and are blaming Oracle. Contrary to the usual commentary from large IT vendors, Oracle is pushing back strongly, saying “Cover Oregon lacked the skills, knowledge or ability to be successful as the systems integrator on an undertaking of this scope and complexity.”

You need a realistic picture of your skills before you start a major project to avoid DIY disasters. Contact me if you think you could benefit from an independent review of your organizational skill level vs. the task at hand.