Risk Management

10 Most Common Reasons for IT Project Failures

There are hundreds of reasons why projects fail, and senior consultant George Paradi offers up ten more of them. But let’s look at this the way Edison would—the more ways we learn how things go wrong, the quicker we learn which ways actually work.

Ten Sources of Failure

  1. User input
  2. Corporate culture
  3. Senior management support
  4. Scope definition
  5. Project timelines
  6. Lack of adequate resources
  7. Incomplete or changing requirements
  8. Lack of leadership
  9. Effective communications
  10. Stakeholder management

Poor user input, inadequate resources, lack of senior management support, and unrealistic timelines can all be major problems from the outset. The corporate culture needs to dictate how resources are shared between departments, and the IT project plan should incorporate that sharing. Scope creep and changing requirements become risks as the project goes on, which can only be remedied by constantly casting a critical eye over the state of the project. About lack of leadership, Paradi has to say:

Project managers are notorious for having outstanding technical skills. But while their technical skills are highly developed, often their interpersonal skills are not. This is often the reason for many a project failure. Hiring an experienced, business oriented, project manager will greatly improve the possibility of success.

Then there are some old standbys. Effective communication is king as always. Project members need to receive immediate updates as pertinent new information becomes available. Likewise, stakeholders need to be kept in the loop as well, especially since they might have the power to help you if things start to go awry. Managing so many variables, both basic and complex, is no easy task, but it comes with the territory of being a project manager. You can read Paradi’s full article here: www.boardroommetrics.com/blog/why-a-good-it-project-plan-drives-success-20131103.htm#.U7Q32rEmU61

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