The 40 Root Causes of Troubled IT Projects
by: John Smith
IT engagements, projects and programmes have a habit of getting into difficulty. If the problems are acute, the project will fail and both Buyer and Vendor may suffer substantial loss. More likely, it will become ‘troubled’, usually implying that it completes, but costs greatly exceed those budgeted and project time-scale is substantially longer than planned.
Sometimes, the problems can be laid at the door of technology. More frequently, the problems concern the people and processes being used to develop solutions, prepare proposals, and deliver the project. The ‘soft’ and ‘business’ skills needed to successfully engage with clients and safely contract for services are seldom taught on graduate courses; these skills must be acquired ‘on the job’. This takes time and organisations have limited success at passing on ‘lessons learned’; we see the same mistakes being repeated.
To address these issues I have recently written a book - Troubled IT Projects, prevention and turnaround. This article is drawn from the first part of my book and sets out my view of the 40 root causes of troubled IT projects.