Sure-Fire Formula for IT Failure: Neglect People, Processes

Ann All

Unlike many of the contributors here at IT Business Edge, it's difficult to sum up my coverage area in just one or two words. Whereas Art Cole writes about infrastructure, Loraine Lawson writes about integration and Lora Bentley writes about governance and risk, here's a sampling of what I wrote about in the past two weeks: cloud computing, Microsoft SharePoint, Gartner's Magic Quadrant, a failed outsourcing initiative, Second Life and the importance of funding innovation activities during an economic downturn.


If I were to give an elevator speech on what I do, it'd have to be at a structure like Toronto's CN Tower.


That said, if I had to select a single overarching theme for this blog, it'd probably be people and processes. You know, as in the two things that are so often neglected in technology projects. Earlier this month, for instance, I wrote about how cultural issues rather than technical ones were presenting the biggest challenges for government agencies utilizing cloud computing.


I was quite taken with a recent post by Asuret, Inc. CEO Michael Krigsman, who touches upon similar themes pretty often at his IT Project Failures blog at ZDNet. In responding to a post by ZDNet colleague Dana Blankenhorn, who suggested open source software could reduce the occurrence of IT failure because transparency in the code could force vendors and customers to work in tandem, Krigsman writes:

In my experience, most failures associated with packaged software arise from expectation mismatches in the business, rather than technical, domain.

Krigsman includes an Asuret graphic showing the seven factors that contribute to IT project success: business case, stakeholder involvement, executive sponsorship, project management, change management, third-party relationships and resource availability.


I couldn't agree more. I'm including links from some of my posts touching upon a few of these areas:

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Nov 4, 2009 7:38 AM Jitendra Subramanyam Jitendra Subramanyam  says:

People and process are exceedingly important. But often, we ignore one other critical factor -- the product itself. While it is easy, relatively speaking, to measure effort, cost, duration, and other process metrics, it is much harder to measure product metrics like size and quality. Not being able to define and measure product metrics right from the start of the software development life cycle robs IT managers of control over project success. To read more on product metrics go to:


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