There are even more parallels between IT projects and racing, and they provide some valuable lessons learned. For example:
Planning comes first
In racing safety comes first, but that ultimately comes down to planning. Evaluate what you want to do, and how to best spend your time doing it. I learned early on that a proper short- and long-term plan helps save you time and resources during every phase from the build to the track.
Budget challenges are commonplace
This is crucial in amateur racing. You need to find the funds for everything from tires, fuel, trailer rentals, track fees and more. (You may need “C-level approval” from spouses, as I get from my wonderfully understanding one.)
How to save money and transform your IT in the long run
This budget crunch makes me think of the state of SAM practices across North America, where maturity is still growing. Many are being asked to build out the practice - and it will save money and help transform IT in the long run - but without the necessary funds being freed up for it.
The importance of early wins
Payout is important. It’s difficult to describe the joy that came when my car was finished, I turned the key and revved up that engine. All projects need that early win to demonstrate their value, to motivate teams and stakeholders, and keep the project progressing (and funded!)
These early wins are built on through the same iterative process as the race car. They must be re-evaluated, deconstructed and refined. SAM is especially like that. You get the practice working and then spend the rest of the time continuously tweaking and turning the dials to perfect it and getting even greater return from it.
The value of partnering
One of the most important things that helps me achieve my dreams of high performance driving is belonging to a performance driving club. The Sport Performance Driving Association or "SPDA" has helped in so many ways. The members have been there before, they know the shortcuts, pitfalls and can prepare me for the problems I will come across.
You can always avoid a lot of additional expense and pains just by talking with those who’ve done it before. Partners also help on the financial front. It’s not unlike turning to a global services company, there’s strength in numbers. We can group buy tires, be informed of special offers and take advantage of sponsorships.
It takes some expertise to make a real impact
Although this hobby can be hard on the budget, one thing I have learned is that throwing money at a problem isn’t always the best approach. You can have the most expensive car on the line, but if your own driving skills aren’t there, no amount of horse power or fancy suspension tricks will help you. Just like IT, the best systems and software aren’t the only piece of the puzzle, you need experts behind the wheel to make a real impact.