5 min read
Vanessa Querry - Aug 25, 2017

12 Dangers to Avoid in your CI Project (Part 1)

The title of this article might come across as negative, but it’s definitely not our intention!

Our goal is to put our 20 years expertise in the CI Market to good use by sharing some insights to give you the opportunity to make adjustments to your current CI project.
This is the reason why this article is aimed both at people setting up a CI project and at readers who might already have a CI project.

Since the list is really long, we decided to separate this article into 2 parts. The second part will be published on our blog next week.

Without further ado, these are the first 6 reasons why CI projects fail:

1. Lack of definition of objectives and needs

Many of you probably think it’s obvious to define objectives at the start of a project, but unfortunately we find that this phase, although critical, is often forgotten or overlooked.
In fact, we often hear the following sentence: 'We're going to gather information and see what we're going to do with it.'
Without a clear definition of your objectives, your CI project will not be able to meet your needs and address your business challenges. The key is to always begin with the end in mind, by asking yourself: Why? What will CI bring me?

What deliverables will I create to help with decision-making in my organization?
If this first phase is missing, then it becomes difficult to identify clear KPIs and measure the added value, which could hurt the performance of your CI project in the long run.

2. Absence of KPIs

The definition of objectives and needs must naturally lead to the implementation of key performance indicators (KPIs). Without them, it is difficult to measure the success of your  project on an ongoing basis, and identify areas for improvement.

Here are some examples of indicators:

- Number of users who have signed up to your CI Platform
- Number of alerts generated
- Newsletters‘ opening rates

3. Missing an important step of the CI cycle: contributing to decision making

The CI cycle is composed of 5 steps:
- Definition of needs
- Collection of information
- Distribution of information
- Analysis
- Showing value

The fifth and final step, the efficient use of information to show value, must ensure that CI is used for decision making. Sending and analyzing information alone is not sufficient; the CI expert must check and validate that all the key functions are utilizing the information provided for important decision making.

If you are having a hard time demonstrating the value of your CI project, several consequences may arise:

  • ROI is not obtained, or is extremely difficult to calculate
  • General management shows a decline in interest, which will result in your budget and resources being reduced  

4. Inadequate CI professional profile

CI, which is unfortunately not a priority for some organizations, does not always receive the best financial and human resources.


Firstly, too often, interns are tasked with CI projects. While this is not necessarily a problem, planning a thorough transition when your intern leaves the company is vital for ensuring continuity (see point 6).

Second are professionals who are not tech-savvy. With CI becoming increasingly digital, from the collection of information online, to the creation of newsletters and automated alerts, CI professionals are required to have transversal skills. Recruiting someone who is tech-unsavvy can prove a major hindrance to your project, so hire carefully!

Lastly is the absence of a “work in pairs” set up which has proved highly successful in our experience. It should consist of:

- The sponsor, a true ambassador at heart, should lobby internally and participate in management committees to push the CI project and its results

- The project manager, who is responsible for launching and deploying CI projects, including defining CI topics, research semantics, sources to be monitored, and so on.

5. Neglecting the time factor

Setting up a CI project can be time-consuming, therefore it is necessary to anticipate temporal needs, as well as human and technological needs.
Ultimately, without available resources, you cannot will not achieve the results you want!

For a CI project to succeed, it is crucial that all members involved have time allocated to them officially. One of the most efficient ways to do this is to include CI missions on their job description.

6. A poor transition

Bad news: your CI expert is leaving your department/organization.
This case, which happens frequently enough, can disrupt the progress of your project, or worst, threaten its survival.
Why? In many cases:

  • CI plans and processes are not properly documented,
  • Transfer of competencies is not organized,
  • No training on CI software is planned for the successor of the project
  • No training on the CI professional software is planned for the successor (if relevant).

Hence, it is very difficult for the remaining team members and new hires to maintain the project.

We will publishing next week 6 more reasons why CI projects fail. Make sure to check our blog to get all the insights!

Don't miss out on Digimind's upcoming webinar where you can learn how to meet your organization's goals, create deliverables, and engage your audience. Register now while there's still time!

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Written by Vanessa Querry

Vanessa is marketing manager at Digimind, and is looking after the CI market. Passionate about information technologies, digital marketing and B2B, Vanessa likes to debate the best strategies to help companies stand out in a highly competitive and rapidly changing market.