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IT Project Delivery Shouldn’t Be Harder Than Building a Skyscraper

Failure seems to plague many IT initiatives, but why? Why can London simultaneously construct 100 large buildings, and IT cannot seem to execute an initiative on plan? In an article for CIO UK, Bjorn Ovar Johansson explores the challenges IT faces and how they can more effectively overcome them.

A Fertile Landscape

There are some elements that are on the side of skyscraper building that help them to better succeed. For example, the first “high rise” that was built in London was constructed in 1098, which means London has great experience in tower building. Another element to consider is that those who build buildings only build buildings. This means that they have a very specialized skill to help them to get the project done.

Johansson claims that he has used the “house analogy” plenty of times to explain why IT initiatives fail. Oftentimes IT projects fail because IT has failed to agree with management about what pillars should be in place before the initiative begins. When building a house, this could never happen because the blueprint would have never been created. Johansson additionally shares some of the avoidable mistakes that he has seen in his time:

  1. Poor planning
  2. CRM software that is not modified
  3. Too many or not enough IT architects
  4. Not enough engagement from the sponsor
  5. Not enough testing
  6. Establishing a time and material basis rather than a fixed price
  7. Selecting the wrong development methodology

If CIOs take the time to better educate themselves and their colleagues, IT initiatives may have a much higher success rate. Additionally, Johansson suggests that CIOs ask the question, “How would I go about this program if building a house?” Planning to build a house means specificity and clarity, and so should IT programs.

You can view further details on avoidable mistakes at the original article:

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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