The Chosen Three – Who Is the Decision Maker?

Only three people stand between you and the success of your IT project: the decision maker, the key user, and the objecting user. These people are the key to the advancement and success of the project and must be acknowledged. In this post we focus on the decision maker.

Who Is the Decision Maker?
The decision maker is the key figure in the organization, having resources and the ability to influence. He is not necessarily a part of the project team, but generally he will be related to it on the level of the organization. Generally the project manager on the part of the client has a direct channel to him, and, in more than a few cases and primarily in sensitive projects, the project manager himself is the one to make the decisions.

Decision maker


How Is It Possible to Identify the Decision Maker?
Identifying the decision maker has been a challenge in every project in which I have been involved. It is possible to achieve our goal by asking essential questions such as “Who is the one to respond or approve the answers?” or by asking for resources from the organization and understanding who enables them to be achieved.

In one of the cases, in the integration of an ERP system, I understood that the company CEO is the one who makes the decisions, only when we reached the final stage of the system design, when I was asked to present to him the solution for the approval of the project. Until this point in time, I was certain that the project manager with whom I had closely worked for dozens of hours, was the strong man in the project. In another case, it was clear already in the kick-off meeting that the CTO is the strong man who sets the rules. He determined the date of launch decisively and everybody toed this line.

What Is Important to Achieve after the Identification of the Decision Maker in the Organization?
Paving the way to the heart, goals, and desires of the decision maker is an essential condition of success.
One of the interesting successes that I had, was based on the understanding that the CEO of the company where I performed a joint BI + CRM + ERP project is the key figure. From analysis of his needs it became clear that a tool that would enable control of all parts of the organization was needed. Therefore, it was decided to begin the project from the stage of the reports (which generally appear in the advanced stages of the project) and to build a solution that focuses on the dashboard report, which would incorporate the data from all the systems of the organization that already exist in the first stage, even before the assimilation of the new system. In this way, the decision maker received an answer to his need already in an early stage and the path was paved to the completion of the other parts in the project.

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