Seventhman Blog

  1. Why Do IT Projects Fail Big Time?

    "IT project failure"In the world of IT, projects do crash and burn.. a lot of times lately.  When things go wrong, who’s to blame?  Before you go on a witch hunt for the next responsible person, you ought to dig deeper for you to come up with a permanent solution.  It’s never an easy job though, but doable nonetheless.  While it’s better to talk about why IT projects succeed, to know why they fail can help improve the chances for many of us who are missing goals terribly.  According to a recent study featured by Cio.com, 50 percent of companies had experienced IT project failure in the last 12 months.  You start to wonder if there’s a shortage of project managers or skilled IT workers (or both).

    Don’t Blame It on IT

    Let’s set aside for a moment this tech fiasco where Obamacare is concerned.  While working as a software developer helped me acquire logical and problem-solving skills, I just feel it’s totally unfair to blame it all on IT when things go wrong.  Did you know that most IT project fail because of poor management?  It’s very rare that failure is due to major technical hurdles.  Key to the success of any undertaking is assigning the right tasks to the right people, plus, defining clear goals and responsibilities.  Just because developers are working in tech doesn’t mean expecting them to behave like computers too.  When leadership is lacking, programmers can get lost in a maze of confusion (not to mention, frustration).

    The Constantly-Evolving Role of Project Managers

    Gone are the days when managers send out orders to be followed by their minions.  The role has evolved into something so dynamic that it involves human relations.  It’s not only making sure that deadlines are met and everyone adhere to best practices, but project managers should also communicate and motivate their team to be their best.  Still, we see many who are stuck in the old mindset that they’re not ready to implement change management, no matter how Agile they think they are.  One of the biggest failure that a project manager can commit is not aligning goals between team players and stakeholders.  They’re supposed to bridge the gap and create trust; instead, they are putting everyone on gridlock until everyone decides to quit and call it a long day.

    Looking at the Real Problem

    Because it’s easy, when IT projects fail – people will simply look at the IT department to blame.  It’s not really the case.  Most of the time, it’s lack of resources that contributed to the failure.  As enterprises move to the cloud, we see demands in adopting more application, adding to the backlogs of the IT team.  Nobody really cares how people work on it so long as it’s delivered in lightning speed.  Soon, your team feels overworked and confused on what to prioritize first.  While you can argue that this can be easily fixed by project managers, most often, they add to the burden by simply not admitting that there’s a problem in the first place.  You can’t blame them though when they’re expected to run things to spotless perfection.  Should the founders be blamed then for such unrealistic expectations?  Accountability should run from top to bottom, no exceptions!

    No matter, if you embrace failure as a testing ground instead of your final destination, you might just win the race to the next disruptive technology around.

     

    **Something new is coming.  Stay Tuned!

     

     

  2. Five Signs That Your IT Project is Doomed to Fail

    "IT project failure signs"If there’s one truth you need to know about IT projects, it’s this:  They’re not created equal.  There are countless stories where all efforts went up in flames even before the software went live.  The risk is multiplied by ten if you’re an entrepreneur who knows little to nil of what your project is all about.  Just how can you spot signs that your IT project is failing?  When prevention is better than a cure, you need to check your project’s health and be proactive in looking for red flags – so you can walk away and minimize damages.  Besides, your business depends on it too.

    Making Decisions Smarter, Faster & Intuitive

    Last time, I have shared with you my thoughts on rapid iterations, to have a radical approach so you can fail fast and small.  The trouble is that you think it’s just too late to quit and so you struggle on a long and winding road that seems to lead you nowhere with your IT project.  The early signs that your project is doomed are really hard to measure objectively, but it’s not easy to spot if you keep an open eye and see these signs:

    1.  Lack – As in lack of interest among your team or stakeholders, lack of speed in moving the project forward, lack of good communication, lack of metrics, lack of detailed plans, lack of consistent management or lack of success in each milestone you’ve set..

    2.  Scope Creep – In relation to the first item, the project takes more resources, money and time to get done than you have originally planned for.

    3.  Testing Later (or Never) – You have a great idea and testing if it works is essential to its success.  You should test in all scenarios and gather data, whether it yields good or bad results.  There’s little to zero involvement with real users (or representatives in multiple departments for bigger companies).

    4.  No Plan B – Just like in life, things can go wrong.  If your IT project don’t have a recovery/risk management plan, you’re up for a big trouble.  Many who failed were too excited to go live only to hit serious downtime without ever having to recover.

    5. 80/20 – As in 80% issues and 20% resolution.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that something is wrong when more problems pile up instead of being resolved.

    For the same way that these signs are contributing to the wide gap between IT and business, you must see signs of distress where your IT project is concerned so you can take action while there’s still time.  You may even invite an expert to give you sound advice so you can make informed decisions without having to lose a lot.

    Now, the only thing you have to deal with is your ego.  Are you willing to let go of that idea when dire circumstances are calling for it?