How Projects Succeed
As a business person you know that IT systems can improve productivity and add value to your organisation. However you are also well aware of the number of well-publicised failures of new systems. So when you are offered an opportunity to lead an IT project from the business side, one of your key questions is likely to be "how can I maximise the chance of success of this project, and deliver business value?"
The Business Problem
Traditionally new IT systems are developed by the systems development department, and the users then make the best they can of them. The business does not have a lot of input during development, but there are long-term business costs of struggling with systems that do not meet your needs. In the past you could get by with these systems as your staff hid problems with them from your customers. However the Internet now means a customer can directly use your systems. If they are hard to use, they will go elsewhere.
Treat Projects As Business Projects
The good news is, that a number of studies have shown that best practice is to treat IT projects as standard business projects. You do not need to be an IT expert to do so, after all you may manage a vehicle fleet and not know how an internal combustion engine works. What is required, is knowledge of how the business works, and how a new system will operate within it to deliver value.
Tasks Your Team Needs To Perform
To avoid the problems of the traditional development approach means you must put in people and resources during the development of an IT project. To be effective you and your team need to be able to perform the following tasks:
- Control the process of development of the system.
- Describe what is wanted from the system.
- Prove that what is delivered is what was asked for.
- Why Projects Fail The six key issues about why projects fail.
- Characteristics of Project Plans - the five key characteristics of a successful project plan.