Ways an IT Project Can Fail
There is a whole host of ways that an IT project can fail. So, I bet that readers have seen some of these before.
1. They do the estimate unscientifically. For example, ‘this should take 10 days and that should take 12 days’ without taking into account that the larger the project, the greater the co-ordination you need.
2. They do the estimate without reference to the previous productivity of the company and individuals on the project. Also, they do it without using productivity information on the tools and languages you will use.
3. Commercial and management pressure succeed in cutting the project estimate. The project team won‘t complete it any quicker because the management cut the estimates. Also, the commercial side won‘t take the blame when it runs over. Only the poor fool who allowed them to cut his estimate will.
4. The requirements are not correct or complete because they used the wrong users to get the requirements from. Either that or because the key users were not available.
5. The requirements are not correct or complete because the business analyst(s) did not have the business knowledge or the right skills to be able to extract the needed business information from the users.
6. There is no proper change control, so that the Requirements are constantly changing. The project is constantly expanding at a greater rate than the changes can be handled.
7. Projects are tracked in such a way that the developers can hide the fact that they are behind schedule, e.g. they can allot time to programs that they‘ve hardly started, while they can say that programs are 95% finished that have still got a lot of testing to do.
This bad data leads to bad information that the Project Manager gives to his or her bosses, and bad management decisions are taken on this bad information.
A false sense of well-being pervades in the early stages of a project until it can be hidden no more, when it all explodes. The project then goes from being on time to two months late in a matter of days (or hours).
8. The Project sponsors, who are under financial pressure, put time pressure on the Project Manager who in turn puts it onto the Project team. Under time pressure, they hand over work that is not robust which means that it is error-ridden and will keep bouncing back to the authors.
Business Users Have No Interest
9. The business users don‘t take much of an interest in the project until it comes to User Acceptance Testing.
They may have agreed things along the way and even signed stages off, but if it is not what they want they won‘t accept it and this could lead to major changes at a stage of the project when problems are much more expensive and time consuming to fix.
10. Under time pressure tey skip some areas of testing. The worst is when they skip systems testing as User Acceptance testing ‘duplicates the effort‘.
They feel that skipping the systems testing stage can bring the project back on schedule. A complete mess results.
The users didn‘t realise how many errors are normally found in systems testing and view the quality of the system as extremely low and the project as a complete shambles – and they are right.
With their extra procedures it takes a lot longer to understand and fix errors and the project gets later and more expensive.
Complete List of Ways an IT Project Can Fail
So there you have it. Those are some of the ways an IT Project can fail.
I‘m sure that you have come across more.
Add them to the comments section and we could maybe compile a complete list which would be useful to new project managers and those embarking on projects.
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