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Showing posts from April, 2013

The Secrets of IT Project Success -- Willpower

Stories of failed information technology (IT) projects are legion, and the poor success rates have been documented in many studies.  To some extent, the larger the project and the more time and money spent, the more elusive the success.

I have been mulling over the reasons for project success based on my experience participating in projects and reading about the industry.  Of course there are many reasons for success and failure, but I think the most important one is the willpower of the stakeholders and key project participants.

Nearly all IT projects are challenging, and could easily be considered failures or the project team doesn't adapt to changes in requirements, technology, and other factors.    

The assumption that requirements are finite and stable is unrealistic.  Rigid requirements can lead to project failure, or a product that technically meets the requirements but doesn't actually work.   It's easy to point blame to all the participants in the project, from f…

Don't Call People Resources

I know that in project management, people are considered resources in the same way that raw materials are considered resources, but for software development projects I have found it counterproductive to treat people like so many interchangeable parts.

The success of a software project hinges on the interactions among many people, including the client, subject matter experts, project managers, testers, trainers and developers.  In addition to their experience and expertise, these people bring with them their personalities and communications styles. 

Because software development is more a team exercise, like filming a movie, than an individual exercise, like writing a book, the overall team dynamic is just as important as individual qualifications.   It is quite possible to put together a team of people with excellent resumes who will be quite ineffective when forced to work with one another.

I have run into clients who focus excessively on comparing resumes as if they provide an indic…