If there’s one thing we can learn from the healthcare fiasco, it’s no IT project is ever beyond failure. It’s human nature to approach a scary situation with an “It’ll never happen to me!” mentality, but failure can and will happen no matter how big the project. Gretchen Gavett of The Harvard Business Review says one of the biggest mistakes a company can make is to look at the past mistakes of other companies and not apply them to the future.
No one wants to be the negative voice of concern, especially when everything seems to be going well. The truth is most symptoms of project failure can be detected early in the project, but they aren’t, because no one wants to speak up. To keep this from happening to you, Gavett suggests paying attention to what’s really happening at the meetings, not just the data but also how people are reacting to it.
Also, check and revise your business case regularly, otherwise the business outcomes may shift without you knowing it. Monitor what’s being spent, not because you want to keep a tight budget, but because under-spending means people are confused about where to begin. Finally, the great driving force behind a project is the project manager. Keep alert to the changes and the people around you. Concerns aren’t a bad thing, as long as they are caught early.