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This chapter is from the book

A Note of Caution

The Business Investment Roadmap, and the analytical framework behind the methodologies, will help you and your company make investments more effectively and efficiently, but they are not the single solution or set of strategies that will guarantee high returns to your stakeholders. Unfortunately, there is no miracle business solution or strategy that can substitute for disciplined, active management. Even so, senior managers and the business press too often get caught up with new-and-improved solutions and strategies, supposedly proven at some Fortune 500/Global 2000 companies. This is great public relations, but it ignores the realities that managers face on a day-to-day basis, which are critical factors in the success needed to grow corporate value. Far too many of the new-and-improved solutions are based primarily on the experiences of particular companies at particular times. At best, adopting these solutions might enable your company to be a follower; at worst, you might put your company at risk by assuming that what worked elsewhere will necessarily be as or more successful for you. It is rare that you can easily exchange and wear someone else's clothes, yet it seems that companies are willing to assume that what fits at another company will work with minimum customization for them.

Keep in mind that just as insufficient or improper analysis can lead to poor investment decision making, too much analysis can also be detrimental to the investment process. Managers made many poor investments in search of revenue growth in the 1990s, especially IT investments that were insufficiently analyzed and vetted. At the other end of the spectrum, however, overanalyzing investments can lead to what some people call "analysis paralysis," with the result that a company makes minimal investments for the future and will invariably decline. There is also the simple fact, as noted earlier, of politics. Many of us have had the experience of seeing an investment made because a senior manager wanted it done, even if the facts available did not support it.

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