Let’s explore the root causes of IT project failures, and gain insights into how to prevent them from happening in your organization.
Where do IT Project failures come from?
Projects orbiting IT statistically secure the highest failure rates among project categories, according to Forbes analytics. According to Forbes’s big data analytics, 95% of product innovation fails, and only 30% of digital transformation projects result in improved corporate performance. Many reasons can be attributed to this fact, however, it may be safe to assume that it’s because innovation in IT is one of the fastest evolving compared to other sectors. High-rate innovation means more progressive ideas, more mistakes, more risks, more grey areas, etc. With technology businesses obtaining some of the brightest minds, how do the downfalls compile at such high rates?
Why do IT Projects fail?
According to experts, misinterpretations of project scope, project definition, and project management are the top three reasons technology projects fail. Executives who are tasked with supporting the projects are sometimes reluctant to make specific alterations related to team dynamics and project management techniques. Savvy CTO’s & CIO’s understand that supporting successful projects begin at the bottom and evolve upward.
Projects that encapsulate bottom-up management styles are generally more successful because the project definition is understood by everyone, not just those who will be moving on from the project once it’s launched. Most IT project launches should be highly supported for at least 6 weeks to ensure QA, troubleshooting success, and end-user satisfaction.
Team dynamics based on project scope & project definition are generally looked over on a project-to-project basis. Executives who support technology projects are sometimes reluctant to change team dynamics such as, the insertion of additional resources specialized in the project’s tech stack, and/or substituting project leads based on project scope & project definition. Sometimes specialized resources may require external sourcing to ensure complete follow-through & expertise. Specialized project resources can seem higher risk financially to executives who understand the high failure rate, however, these adjustments statistically raise success rates at a suitable ROI level.
For any industry, new and progressive projects are prone to failure at high rates. IT is more prone to failure because of the high-level innovation related to this sector. Reducing project failure rates can be driven by tactical internal adjustments such as, evolutions in team dynamics, bottom-up management, extending project launch support, and defining the big three project goals noted above. Successful projects are ones that are willing to obtain any resource or adjustments needed once scope, definition, and management are in place.