Risk Management

5 Ways IT Projects Can Fail

IT project failures can repeat like seasons if a project team keeps stepping on the same rake. Some project managers never learn a lesson from their past experience and improve, while others seeks change and innovation. IT projects are prone to unexpected errors, bad time management, or lack of monitoring. In an article for DZone, Joe Lewis lists five mistakes that can be made in project management:

  1. Lack of executive buy-in
  2. Overly optimistic timelines
  3. Poor planning
  4. Not having the right people on the team
  5. Micromanaging projects

Stop Walking Into the Same Wall

All IT project failures stem from high-level executives, the project team, or the project itself. CEOs and executives need to understand the purpose and benefits of a project first, so that they can develop a vested interest in the success of the project. If executives are not really into the project, they can sabotage it by placing restrictions and denying any responsibility for it.

Now talking about your own team, you need different people who can bring a wide variety of necessary skills for the type of project under development. Don’t include members with redundant skill sets if other options are available (unless those skills are critical to the project, of course). It is also important to care about each individual in your team on a personal level. You should encourage team members to bring up any issues they stumble upon, instruct them how to perform their jobs better, and make them feel you can be trusted.

Lewis says that the project itself can be the root problem if you have poor planning:

Perhaps the specifications were not sufficiently detailed or the scope was not clearly defined. Perhaps approval authority is not included in the plan or there is no system for tracking changes. The plan may not include a metric for defining whether the project is a success.

Solution: Take the time to plan every detail, including how contingencies will be handled, before initiating the project. It may be necessary to update the plan over the course of the project, but major modifications should not be needed.

Along those same lines, once a schedule is hammered out, make sure to pad it out with buffer time; something almost always goes wrong in a perfect plan. Bad project management is easy, but it doesn’t mean good project management is hard. If implemented properly, projects can be completed on time and within budget. At the end of the day, everyone from the C-suite to the apprentice room is happy about having their jobs well done.

You can view the original article here: https://dzone.com/articles/5-ways-it-projects-can-fail

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