Russ Bostick, president of Bostick & Associates, took to the stage at Celent’s Creative Disruption—A Core Systems Strategy Workshop in Boston on Nov. 3, 2011, to share his experiences as an insurance IT executive in building successful business cases.

He started out by saying the process must start with problem or opportunity, not a capability, which IT professionals tend to do. Bostick, whose consulting company focuses on life, annuity and supplemental health insurance, said another necessity is doing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. Using some of these classic business tools will help figure out what the real issues are right now and gain some consensus around them. “Ironically, determining what or where to attack has the greatest impact on business case outcomes, not what you actually can do,” he said. “Yes, the technology department’s primary focus is execution. The vast majority of staff need to show up on a project plan at the right time and perform the task correctly and with excellence in order to be realized, but that has to do with execution, not with project selection and business case.”

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