IT Project Management

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1. Discuss the reasons why IT projects fail.
Although there are many contributing factors to project failure, there are six common factors. 1. Undeveloped Project Goals:
Poor project planning will almost always lead to failure. One main reason for this failure is the inability to agree on the missions, goals, or objectives that the project is attempting to undertake. It is necessary that specific plans and requirements for the project are instituted in the development phase. Failure to do this will most likely result in “fragmented efforts” and a “lack of team focus” for the duration of the project. It is equally important to make sure that the chosen goals and objectives are within reach of the project and team. If the intricacy or the efforts that will go into the project are misunderstood, the chances for failure certainly increase. 2. Poor Project Team Composition

A weak project team is a set up for failure. It is important to make sure there are no problems between team members, and if problems arise, that the team will deal with them accordingly in a timely manner. It is also important to make sure that each member of the team is appropriate for the project, meaning that they understand how to do the work and are technologically able to do so. The team needs to constantly remain organized and always be in communication with each other. Differences between team members will give the opportunity for varying viewpoints, which could be significant to the project. However, if communication between these team members is not up to par, they will not be able to share their ideas and therefore the project may suffer. 3. Lack of Project Management and Control

Project failure will automatically occur if the project is not managed properly. This not only involves poor leadership skills on the side of manager, but also includes poor control methods for the project. Poor methods of control mean that there is no system to measure progress or identify risks. Project managers must make sure that no team member is in the “wrong” position or doing a job for which they are not suited. It is also important for project managers to know their responsibilities and freedoms and act accordingly. Project managers, like the project team, must not only be involved but must also be competent and sure of what they are doing. 4. Inappropriate Technology Base

If the organization or company is unequipped with the necessary technology to complete the project, it will be almost impossible to succeed. This also means having a staff that is equipped with the skills to use that technology, which sometimes gets overlooked if the technology is new to the company. Projects not only fail due to outdated technology, but also because they use new technology that not everyone is caught up on. Technology can also affect a project if learning to use it takes longer than planned.

5. No Senior Management Involvement
The involvement of the senior management is just as important as the direction the project team receives from the project manager. The senior management must be involved in monitoring progress and making critical decisions throughout the course of the project. It is key that the job they are supposed to perform is not pushed onto project managers or technical experts. Senior managers should hold review meetings so they are up to date on everything and nothing is overlooked. Another possible problem that could occur if senior managers are not involved is that there may be a concealment of information or problems that they need to know about. 6. Escalating Project Cost and Time of Completion

The Association for Computing Machinery once said “It is common knowledge in the computer industry that projects are still over budget and behind schedule in far more cases than information system professionals and management find acceptable”. Cases of projects where the cost and the time of completion skyrocket almost always need to be canceled....
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