In 2004 KPMG’s research revealed that I.T. project failure is “rampant” with 56% of firms having classified 1 or more I.T. projects as a failure in 2003.
Other research by Gartner has discovered that a full 40% of I.T. projects are canceled and 28% are over budget and/or late.
Research by Bloor has shown that the failure rate of I.T. projects has not changed since the 1970s which proves that the I.T. industry suffers over and over again from the same problems of
under investment in training;
too many manual processes;
poorly tuned systems;
programmers and project managers under too much pressure;
hiring the wrong people
Fortunately research by other organisations has highlighted the solutions to these problems:
- Train your team - financial and other returns from training can be between 30% and 7000% (NCVER, Australia 2005).
- Automate your I.T. systems - both production and development. Research by Sun discovered that 80% of system failures are caused by a combination of human errors and process errors. System failures can cost up to $4000/minute (Standish Group, 2001).
- Tune your existing systems - $23bn is wasted on I.T. including over specified hardware (Gartner).
- Reduce stress by creating realistic plans. The biggest cause of stress is unrealistic workloads, 12.8 million working days were lost in the U.K. in 2004 due to stress, depression and anxiety (Health & Safety Executive).
- Hold design reviews - “… the single most effective way of identifying errors and thereby reducing costs” (Professor McDermid, York University, England 2001)
- Prepare for the coming skills shortage - in a recent survey of 3800 IT industry employees, AbsoluteIT found that two thirds were seeking new jobs and the April 2010 KPMG and Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) report on jobs shows that IT and computing workers are the most sought after of eight sector verticals
- Hire the best - the best developers are twice as productive as the next best, but worse than that is the fact some developers have negative productivity, anything they do has to be redone by somebody else. (Professor McDermid, York University, England 2001)
By following these seven steps you can ensure your I.T. projects don’t add to the statistics on failures.
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