Just look at the statistics from Gartner, whose studies show 75% of IT projects fail. Every year I read the headlines from Standish.
In the eternal words of Run DMC, it goes a little something like this:
- 32% of all projects succeeded: delivered on time, on budget, with required features
- 44% were challenged: late, over budget, and / or with less than the required features
- 24% failed: cancelled prior to completion or delivered and never used
Delivering a Successful Project
Looking at the Standish figures, the chances of delivering a successful IT project are 3-1. Today’s workplace is a hotbed of irrationality, politics, much ado about nothing, competing self-interests — all courtesy of globalisation, digitisation, fewer people to do the work, disruptive technologies, multi-sourcing, overt political correctness, covert political correctness and austerity measures.
The chances of traditional ways of going about an IT project in that kind of climate are zilch. The follow-me-I’m-right-behind-you-management consultants eulogising the single silver bullet method, have most definitely become purveyors of Hollywood science.
Measuring performance in terms of delivering a specific output to time, budget and quality works in the world of certainty. Maybe today’s business environment is now so uncertain that the only certainty on an IT project is a constantly changing set of business requirements.
In that kind of climate, anyone playing the role of an IT project manager will need to think differently about how the work gets done. IT Project Manager 2014+ will have less control and direct authority over budget and resources. They have all the responsibility and none of the authority; nothing less than an emphatic performance will be expected.
Project Manager 2014+
IT Project Manager 2014+ not only needs to know how to manipulate and measure the triple constraints; they also need to know other qualitative performance traits known to lead to the creation of value.
In a maelstrom of ever-changing business requirements: clarity; fun; unity; agility; confidence; well being; conflict; trust; communication-enablement; and flow are more important than a narrow focus on time, budget and quality.
The problem with text books on IT project management is that they are just not memorable enough. Most of them are guaranteed cures for insomnia. So I’ve made use of memorable mementos from popular culture in recent times to get the messages across.
Andy Warhol made a tin of soup look interesting so I am going to do the same with the world of IT project management. The book is a philosophical pretentious pastiche of metaphorical kitsch. It’s the pulp fiction equivalent for IT project management.
Your next IT project does not need to be embryonic statistical fodder for the next Gartner and Standish report. My book exists to give Standish and Gartner statisticians writer’s block.
Exclusive to Leadership Thoughts
Read chapter 26 of Donato’s new book — The Ultimate IT Project Manager — Tin and Wires, Part 1: Data Centre Migration Master (DCM) Class.
Creative Commons image courtesy Comedy Nose.
How do you make sure your project succeeds?
What is your biggest challenge? What gets in your way?