Wednesday, 24 February 2010

IT project failures - an analysis

This is a good summary of typical IT project failure. Certainly rings true for me & the project failures that I've been involved in. My only addenda would be a couple more reasons why IT PMs tend to dumb down risks & assumptions: they either form an over-optimistic view of the features and benefits of the new system (they start to believe their own sales pitch), or they overestimate the level of buy-in from end users (they overestimate the success of their sales pitch).

The lesson for me is not to treat IT projects like other engineering projects. Most non-IT projects deal with tangibles, so the concepts are much easier to share with the layman: a model, drawings, artist impressions, VR walkthroughs, materials to touch etc. IT projects are intangible - mostly invisible to the end user, so as such there may be a wide gap between the IT pro's concept of the workload required, and the layman's concept. So while the PM process can be similar to traditional engineering project management, the emphasis at certain stages should factor in the conceptual differences: both end user and IT pro should ensure that they have a common understanding of the design and effort required.

Update: another good article with more detailed common assumptions and remedies.
Post a Comment