Last weekend my daughter Meg and I went Big Cat fishing for our first time. Aboard Blue Cat Guide Service with captain Bob at the helm we powered along the Mississippi. Bob taught us some new tricks “bumping” the bottom for Big Cats. I couldn’t help but think how similar fishing and IT are. You are 100% confident when you invest – why else would you! Then you wait, and either reap the rewards or get skunked. Your confidence wanes as time goes on without a bite/win; and intensifies as you reel in the benefits. But if fishing is any example, ROI is often measured in satisfaction and not the actual cost of each fish you catch. As the saying goes “a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work!”

What about ROI in the case of investing in IT for your business. It’s well-known that to measure true ROI you must start with an accurate baseline. But have you addressed the following questions even before you get started:

  1. Have you identified your business metrics and measures in numerical terms that you can measure against your baseline?
  2. Is your IT partner also measured by these same metrics?
  3. Have you put in place proactive risk abatement actions tied to a set schedule?
  4. Have you defined what success looks like in terms of these metrics, a set schedule, and a set budget?

Let’s face it, business is not a fishing expedition (unless of course you are Bob). It can, and should include fun, but tangible outcomes are essential to success. With an accurate baseline, measurable metrics, proactive risk abatement, and of course solid execution, all that is left is you doing your job and your IT partner keeping their promises.

Happy fishing! (Oh and yes we practice catch and release 😊)