Why IT projects fail?
The successful completion of an IT project is one of the most reassuring aspects for enabling the organization to advance forward in achieving significant efficiencies and competitive advantages. It helps to boost employee morale and provide senior management the confidence to pursue more IT projects in the future.
However, failed IT projects are always a possibility, and in fact, more and more organizations are facing the risk of being unable to complete larger projects, the result of which can lead firms to lose a significant edge in the competition.
So why do IT projects fail in the first place? Here are 4 reasons why this may be the case:
Giving more importance to technology as opposed to business requirements
This is easily perhaps the biggest reason why a number of organizations are incapable of executing their IT project plans and objectives. The intensity of the competition is resulting in a race for implementing the latest technology and extracting cost and competitive advantages to increase one’s market share. Many executives and managers thus fall for the assumption that getting the latest technology will warrant them unprecedented business benefits and an edge over their rivals. In the process, they give the green light and budget for investing in sophisticated technologies, without even considering if the technology solution or system they intend to implement meets any requirements or if it can be supported and used easily by the staff.
The result is that the intended IT project fails to become of value to the organization.
Undermining the importance of details
The saying ‘the devil is in the details’ is very true. But, sadly, for most firms, devil is found anywhere but in the details. When firms understand that a particular IT project may be of value to advancing their corporate goals and objectives, they mistake the technology to benefit them haphazardly, without delving deep into the nitty-gritty of the technology. This can cover anything from the visible and hidden costs of the solution, the processes, resources, and capabilities required to utilize it to its fullest potential, and some of the challenges which must be overcome after implementation.
Setting unrealistic timelines
For any project to be successful, setting a realistic timeline is very crucial. Unfortunately, many IT executives and managers make the mistake of budgeting for too many projects, either in the hope of seeking better career prospects or maximizing the most value of IT in a given year. Therefore, they make poor resource utilization decisions, resulting in many missed projects. It is better for firms to aim for few successful projects than many unsuccessful, half-finished projects.
Being patient in challenging times
It is difficult enough for a project leader to halt the project when the results show otherwise. However, it is a lot more difficult and counter-intuitive for leaders to continue despite seeing signs of a worsening project. In many cases, being persistent in the face of challenges is what is required to become successful.
However, leaders may pull the plug simply because the project costs appear to be too high than what it was budgeted for or becomes too complex to understand. In these circumstances, it is better to continue and reap the rewards later than to discontinue altogether.