You’ve seen it before, no doubt: Your organization develops a software project, with both business executives and IT careful when outlining its objectives, developing a plan and making sure it adheres to compliance regulations. Then, after countless hours of work, the project falls apart.
Trying to answer why this happens so often was the goal of a recent Geneca study, “Doomed from the Start? Why a Majority of business and IT Teams Anticipate Their Software Development Projects Will Fail.” The study examined why IT teams struggle to meet business expectations for their projects, and asked participants questions on topics such as requirements, accountability and measuring project success. A high number of respondents showed a lack of confidence in their projects’ success, with 75% of respondents saying that their projects are either always or usually “doomed right from the start.”
Geneca cited several problems causing the lack of confidence in the projects’ overall success. Key study findings include:
- 80% of respondents said they spend at least half their time on rework.
- 78% said the business is usually or always out of sync with project requirements and business stakeholders need to be more involved and engaged in the requirements process.
- 55% said that the business objectives of their projects are clear to them.
- 23% stated that they are always in agreement when a project is truly done.
Another interesting finding was that 76% of IT respondents and 72% of business respondents agree that IT is a “trusted partner and critical to the company’s success.” However, IT people assume that their business colleagues believe that “IT doesn’t build what the business asks for” (42%), “projects are always over budget and take too long” (33%), and that “IT needs to provide more warning when a project is going to be over budget or late” (28%).
A Geneca report accompanying the survey stated that the responses from IT professionals and their business counterparts were fairly similar. In addition, each side had many of the same issues and concerns with regard to their projects.
“The perception is that challenges start at the beginning of a project and reflect difficulty in defining project success,” according to the Geneca report. “This carries forward to IT and has impact throughout the rest of the project.”
Geneca representatives advised professionals to examine their processes and try to facilitate the following to alleviate obstacles outlined in the study:
- Communication of clear business objectives.
- Measurement of project results against business objectives.
- Ownership of the project goals vs. design of the solution.
- Collaboration between the business and IT to drive alignment.
- A common vision across every part of the organization involved.
All sound advice. As the report notes, the project management problems outlined above are interconnected and compound each other when left unchecked. And what about when a project is designed to create a compliance solution or related to meeting compliance regulations? With the number of compliance regulations out there, and many more likely to come, a project’s success could make or break your company’s adherence to the rules. As a result, getting it right the first time is more important than ever.