It is a mistake to think about blockchain as ‘just’ a ‘technical’ solution. The successful adoption of blockchain-enabled solutions entails overcoming new types of organisational and legal risks and challenges.
SUCCESS FACTORS FOR BLOCKCHAIN SOLUTIONS
CLEAR VALUE PROPOSAL
The project must address a clear, specific business goal
If you want to build things for fun, organise a hackathon. If you want to change how your organisation works/delivers things, then you need a clear business goal that is supported by stakeholders.
The project must use appropriate technology
Just because can use blockchain doesn’t mean you need to use blockchain. (This is true of all technologies.) Your platform choice and configuration decisions should come after a robust analysis of technological options – not before.
The project must identify and manage relevant stakeholders
Stakeholder engagement is key to successful blockchain projects – particularly
when you are bringing together multiple organisations to link processes and share information. Stakeholder management is arguably the most important success factor.
The project must engage end users with the service’s design
Just because you’ve built it doesn’t mean people will use it.
RISK FACTORS FOR BLOCKCHAIN SOLUTIONS
Disruptive projects are generally more complex and difficult to implement
Disruptive projects need significant stakeholder buy-in, clear technology and operational road maps, and significant investment in ongoing stakeholder management if you are to build something that is both a technical and an operational success.
Projects that deliver solutions that do not scale might provide
learning opportunities, but service deployment will be difficult
As part of your project planning, you should understand whether your solution can be used in other local/organisational contexts. If it’s a stand-along project with minimal opportunities for wider adoption you should consider the organisational value of the project. Sometimes a project is just a proof of concept. Sometimes it is just a learning opportunity. Both of these outcomes are ok – but don’t present them as something else.
Lack of clarity regarding the legal or regulative side hinders service deployment
You need clarity that the approach you want to take and the project that you want to build
is actually legally deployable. If you are working with personal data, you must be GDPR compliant. If you want to use tokens/coins etc. to manage the allocation of funds to citizens and organisations, you must make sure that this approach is allowed. Collaborate with decision makers to make sure that any legal or regulatory questions are resolved in advance – or as soon as they arise during development. There is no value in building
a solution that is a technical success, but which cannot deployed.