Monday, April 13, 2009

Causes for IT Project Failures

A lot of blogs out there are dedicated to analyzing IT projects once they have failed and the cause nearly always tend to be the same. I want to make a difference!

I am a Kiwi (New Zealander) born and raised, which makes me a straight talker, no BS and you won’t need to read between the lines. In 1985 I moved to Australia to pursue my IT career. Back then NZ didn’t have a lot of opportunity for IT professionals to advance (things have changed now). Being a “pseudo” Aussie means I am objective, confident, don’t mind being wrong and love to hear other people’s opinions.

This blog, myself and my company (ITPSB) are dedicated to helping organizations minimize the risk of their IT projects failing, under delivering business benefits or the dreaded budget and time overruns. Most of these issues are avoidable provided that sufficient pre-implementation planning and execution of strategic decisions are undertaken before projects commence.

Having been involved with both the business and technical side of IT projects for over 24 years and also having conducted numerous research investigations and interviews into why IT projects continue to be hindered in some way or another – there always appears to be a myriad of reasons given as to why individual projects failed. Reasons that are identified in hindsight: such as poor management, communication problems, lack of project support, lack of technical expertise, over-promised and under-delivered, vendor issues and so on.

However, the single key issue that I have isolated as the primary cause is the Strategic IT Project Decision Making and Execution (or lack of) in those decisions. If strategic project decisions such as “why are we investing”, “who is responsible”, “how is the organization is going to secure project support”, “actively involve users”, “communication strategy”, “identify requirement sources”, “training”, “project sponsorship”, “management support and leadership” are not made before the project commences then planning their execution becomes mission impossible!

Over the next 10 days I will post to this blog on the subject of Corporate Profiling.

Corporate Profiling will detail the various organizational disciplines that must be addressed by the organization and its executives before they undertake their next IT project. So I look forward to your feedback and comments.

For a preview of my book “Stop Blaming the Software – Corporate Profiling for IT Project Success” please feel free to view my SlideShare.

Kind regards

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