It is frightening: The latest research shows that an amazing number of IT projects spiral completely out of control. So much so that entire companies and careers often are destroyed. The studies show,
- 67% of companies do not manage to stop unsuccessful projects,
- 61% of managers report that there are ‘major’ conflicts between the project organizers and the production line,
- 31% of companies complete projects that have nothing to do with the companies strategy and
- 31% of companies complete redundant work because they failed to coordinate their projects.
These results are significant. But even more frightening are the conclusions of the authors of Harvard Business Review articles.They write: If you want to avoid the slow death caused by IT projects you must be prepared not only to spend 400% more than planned on the project, but to reap only 25% of the expected benefits. If you keep this in mind you can possibly prevent a company from being killed by an IT project.
See nothing, hear nothing, say nothing
Unfortunately even the authors Bent Flyvbjerg and Alexander Budzier do not really know how to prevent such disasters. But what amazes me even more is that these things are well-known — do managers of big companies just simply close their eyes to such problems? Don’t they want to see them? Don’t they want to admit that the well-known traditional methods that the IT managers apparently follow don’t meet the demands?
But maybe we are addressing the wrong people , like Ken Schwaber says in his new, soon to be published book. Possibly IT customers, software development, and product development need to simply not accept any more that IT departments, QA departments and process people can not create finished, tangible and measurable results every two weeks.
Until we all understand this companies will continue to throw out millions and sometimes in doing so completely fail.