As IT professionals much of our project information is not quite organized and much of our lessons learned go undocumented. What does that say for the 21th Century?

by E.R. Williams

Have we learned from the past failure of projects? That is the question for 2010 and beyond. I am not sure we have. Although there have been improvements, how much is the question? Some researches seem to say that a significant increase of 100%. 100% of what? When the rate for successful projects is not over 50, 60, 70, percent, we still have a very long way to go. We either are not spreading the knowledge wide enough along with lessons learned or many are not learning from lessons learned. Why not? We still seem to have many projects failing or being cancelled. I, we, will wait to hear what the major IT researchers say about 2010.

I identify some reasons from being in the trenches and networking: inadequate management and inexperience project managers, unrealistic and inadequate planning, the absence of an architecture, absolutely too much. Notice I did not say anything about requirements. Yes, still a problem. And whether IT professionals/project managers realizes it, there must be business and system requirements, specified, documented, mutually agreed to and signed off, and it doesn't matter if they are evolving or change through out the process (that's what configuration control is for). A comment from a developer was that he didn't care for models and modeling, documentation, etc. just wanted to get on with implementation and the agile process. But in order for an agile process to contribute to project success, you must still have the above activities completed/comprehensive, detailed enough and/or adequate to do parallel, incremental, iterative development. Let's not fool ourselves about what it takes to be successful including having client/user involved from the beginning and throughout a project's life cycle. We should have learned that eliminating a significant process/activity or best or good practice contributes to a project's failure.

What do you think about project failures for 2010, the 21st century?

Previous post:

Next post: