Monday, September 8, 2014

Why tech projects fail

Project management is an important skill for anyone in IT, whether you are the CIO directing an enterprise environment, or a systems administrator planning the next round of system upgrades. In a 2013 article, Coverlet Meshing at Information Week writes with five reasons Why Tech Projects Fail. Review these "unspoken" reasons, and make sure your next major technology project fares better:

1. Technology "return on investment" (ROI) numbers are mostly fiction.
"The rule of thumb for calculating the risk of rolling out new technology is this: the higher the buy-or-build price, the larger and more expensive the required redesign of your business processes."
2. ROI rarely drives the technology investment decisions.
"Rare is the executive who puts the company's interests before his or her own (financial stability, career progression, personal brand building). And that kind of behavior isn't exclusive to executives; it's pervasive from the boardroom to the mailroom."
3. There's rarely any long-term accountability in technology.
"It should never come as a surprise when 'too big to fail' stumbles, and spectacularly. What should be a surprise is when project planning contributes to that failure. What's missing in the business and/or IT project plan is agility, the organizational ability to act quickly and decisively."
4. Detailed plans are the enemy.
"When the world outside is changing rapidly, IT projects should be forced into redefining themselves -- and often. Scope creep should be mandatory."
5. Bringing in the outside guns only ensures that someone will get shot.
"Bringing in outsiders keeps your workforce dumb. It locks you into a vendor interested in getting you hooked on its proprietary black box … Eventually, the organization has no internal decision-makers with any depth of technical experience."
photo: Chris Potter/StockMonkeys.com

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