A random act, no matter how positive or negative the outcome, is still a random act, and thus it cannot be relied upon in the future. Though you may be able to successfully complete a project or deliver a product on time, the success will have little meaning if you aren't certain why the outcome was positive. Random acts of IT may be able to carry your business forward for some time, but will ultimately fail later on– and often at the worst possible moment.
The Allure of Random Success
Random acts of success can actually be more detrimental to the long-term health of a business than a failure. A failure indicates that something is wrong and needs to be addressed, but a random act of success lures a company into a false sense of security. Even when it’s clear there is something wrong with the current IT situation, it may be difficult to convince decision makers and department heads the problem must be addressed. Random acts of success can also be very difficult to pin down, as the issues involved may be pervasive and systemic, rather than a single point of failure.
The Dangers of Unreliable Success
By its very nature, a random act of success cannot be repeated. It is not consistent, scalable, or reliable. In fact, it may be difficult to ascertain how the success even occurred to begin with. When a company relies on this type of inconsistent methodology, it can box itself into a corner. There is no impetus to improve when success has been achieved, but success will not be replicated. Under some systems, for success to even occur, each moving part has to align perfectly.
The "Rock Star" Factor
Random acts of success don't merely occur. Some companies seek them out, in the form of challenges either loosely defined or insufficiently prepared for. A random success is exciting, and it looks good; when the deck of cards are stacked against you and you still manage to get a win, everyone cheers you on. But much of IT involves making sure the deck isn't stacked against you; in fact, an intelligent IT professional loads the deck. It may not seem as fraught with tension and drama, but that's the point. Success-oriented IT systems and methodology are designed to be consistent, stable and, yes, boring.
Any IT professional who wants to achieve and maintain success must understand the inherent differences between planned success and random success. Incidental success is just another form of failure; if you achieved your goals but do not know why, or achieved goals in a way that you did not anticipate, then you didn't truly achieve your goals. Developing IT value demands that you create intricate, strategic plans and that you fulfill these plans every step of the way. If "random" occurs, it needs to be resolved.