Overview

The successful design, development, and implementation of information technology (IT) projects is a very difficult, complex, and, at times, daunting process. However, although developing IT projects can be difficult, the reality is that a relatively small number of factors control the success or failure of every IT project, regardless of its size or complexity. There is nothing esoteric about those factors. The problem is not that the factors are unknown; it is that they seldom form an integral part of the IT development process.

Of course, the recognition and management of these factors does not ensure IT project success. Understanding the factors and the part they play in successful project management is one thing; appropriately managing them is something else. In addition, there is a high potential for project failure in not recognizing the part these factors play, or failing to appropriately manage them.

If these factors are so clearly important and well-known, why do they not form an integral part of every IT project? The short answer is that they should. The issue here is that because they are not used, too high a number of IT projects suffer some degree of failure.

The phrase "IT project failure" often raises a specter of some colossal failure. For example, the project never goes operational, or it is abandoned in midstream after considerable expense. In addition, there are other, qualified IT failures, such as projects that exceed their development time and expense estimates, but ultimately become operational. There are also many projects that move to production status, but do not meet the expectations of internal customers as defined in the project specifications. And projects may be considered failures if the applications take too long to process the data, or if they regularly fail in the operational environment.

In short, many organizations do not have a particularly good track record in IT project success. However, many IT project failures can be eliminated or mitigated by understanding and managing the nine project failure factors described in this chapter. These factors should be recognized for the strength they can bring to every project, and accorded the attention they deserve.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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