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RT Prevent It Project Failure

RT Prevent It Project Failure

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Published by mkrigsman
Transcript of my Focus.com roundtable on why IT projects fail and how to achieve success.
Transcript of my Focus.com roundtable on why IT projects fail and how to achieve success.

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Published by: mkrigsman on Aug 16, 2011
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08/19/2011

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Focus Research, IncModerator: Michael KrigsmanApril 25, 20111 pm PT
Focus IT Roundtable:
How to Recognize and Prevent IT Project Failures
 
Focus IT Roundtable: How to Recognize and Prevent IT Project Failures
2011 Focus Research 2
 
About the Roundtable:
Focus Expert Roundtables are 45 minute teleconferences where 3-5 members of the FocusExpert Network talk about hot topics on a particular category each week. Failed IT projectscost the economy billions of dollars every year, damage many public and private organizations,and hurt the careers of those involved. On April 25, 2011 top experts explored why IT failuresare so common and what you can do to prevent them.Michael Krigsman: Let’s begin. Welcome to this Focus IT Roundtable called How toRecognize and Prevent IT Project Failure. I’m Michael Krigsman, CEO ofAsuret, which provides change-related consultant services on businesstransformation projects. I also wrote a popular blog for ZDNet called ITProject Failures.This roundtable is brought to you on Focus.com, where I’m a FocusExpert Advisor. Focus brings together a large community of experts andbusiness professionals to exchange information and share knowledge.And if you haven’t participated in the site, I strongly suggest that you do.Focus will be posting a recording of today’s discussion within the next24 hours, and a transcript will be up within the next week. To access thearchive, use the keyword “projectmanagement” on Focus.com. You canalso interact with me and the other experts participating in thisroundtable over at Focus. If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag#focusRT. And we’ll be monitoring the Twitter stream as we go.Today I’m joined by two top experts on IT failures. Steven Romero is anIT governance evangelist at CA Technologies, and he literally travelsaround the world giving presentations on this topic. He speaks withpractitioners and enterprise customers every day of the week, and youcan find him on Twitter at ITGEvangelist – for IT Governance Evangelist.I’m also joined by Todd Williams, who is one of the top projectturnaround specialists in the world. His new book is titled Rescue theProblem Project. And Todd works with enterprise customers as well, andalso travels the country giving talks on this topic very frequently. Andhe’s on Twitter at BackfromRed, as in “taking back from red projects.”It’s an honor to be here with both of these folks. So let’s dive right in.Steve, let’s begin with you. Despite all of our metrics and projectmanagement tools and everything else, statistics tell us that a largepercentage of projects are late, over budget, or don’t deliver expectedresults.
 
Focus IT Roundtable: How to Recognize and Prevent IT Project Failures
2011 Focus Research 3
 
Making matters even worse, I wrote about a study showing 75 percentof the respondents anticipate that their project is going to fail. So Steve,what’s going on here? Why is his happening? What’s shaking?Steven Romero: Hi Michael. Good afternoon. So yeah. It’s a question. And I’m a brokenrecord, when it comes to answering this question. So it’s great that we’regonna have Todd here as well, to get into some of the execution-levelproblems that I’m sure many organizations are experiencing. And afterspeaking to many folks in companies out there, I have found that amajor contributor to these project failures is a lack of sound investmentdecision making about the products and programs that an enterpriseundertakes.So poor project and portfolio management practices – that’s probablythe thing that I cite more often than any. Organizations are notdeliberate enough or conscious enough of how they choose productsand programs. And these things get thrown over to the fence to thepeople that are supposed to execute these things.And, in many cases, they don’t have enough time. They don’t haveenough resources. They don’t have enough money. And without goodinvestment decision making, those deficiencies or inadequacies orobstacles don’t get uncovered. And, frankly, it’s left to the heroics ofmany people in the organization to actually get 'em done.And the other one – I think it’s one that I’ve seen you write quite a bitabout – and that’s the inattention to business process change thatshould coincide, happen in parallel, or actually happen as a function ofthe project that’s introducing the new system or application. I’ve seenthat cause many failures as well.Michael Krigsman: So Todd, business investments is that the problem here, thatcompanies aren’t investing right? Or is it something else going on? Whatdo you think? And please speak up, both of you guys – you need tospeak up just a bit more. Okay?Todd Williams: Okay. So I don’t really think it’s an investment issue necessarily. It’spotentially that people are going somewhat after the shiny ball. They seesomething. They see – “Geez, I want that.” But they’re unable to takethat concept of what they want, and translate that off to what theyactually need.So too many times, a project is started, and it looks like it’s going toaddress some sort of business need. But it’s off-track from thebeginning. That gets right back to what Steve just said – how thesethings get started and thrown over the wall. That whole “throw over thewall” issue is a huge problem.

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