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Avoiding Enterprise IT Failure

Headspring maintains a 98% project success rate by implementing a series of best practices. Here are 8 statistics highlighting common pitfalls of enterprise IT projects & the steps you can take to avoid them.

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Avoiding Enterprise IT Failure

  1. 1. AV IDING ENTERPRISE IT FAILURE 8 WAYS HEADSPRING PROJECTS BEAT THE ODDS
  2. 2. Most enterprise IT projects face a grim outlook: 50% In 2012 alone, of businesses reported an IT project failure.1 Those failure rates are daunting, but Headspring maintains a 98% project success rate by implementing a series of best practices. Here are 8 statistics highlighting common pitfalls of enterprise IT projects and the steps you can take to avoid them.
  3. 3. Headspring Solution 48% of businesses experience technology failures DAILY. 2 BE TRANSPARENT TO USERS THROUGHOUT THE PROJECT. Don’t defer feedback, validation and testing until the end of the project; instead, take an iterative approach that lets you adjust along the way. Waiting until the end of the project to gather feedback results in rework and delays. The more unknowns in your project, the more you must shorten the feedback loop. Don’t assume you’ll get the project right the first time. Remember that, for the business users, good enough now is preferable to perfect later. Don’t let “perfect” ruin “good.”
  4. 4. Headspring Solution Line-of-business users – not IT – own the software. Get stakeholder and end-user buy-in early, and keep them engaged throughout the process. Have the development team observe how end users really use applications in their jobs. Avoid fragmented development ownership. If your environment is decentralized, a lack of accountability between geographically dispersed stakeholders can cause time and budget overruns. Have the right people make project estimations. Most projects are underestimated, resulting in much higher costs and lengthy delivery. Project managers tend to underestimate software development costs, and developers typically underestimate governance and oversight. Ask the developers who will work on the project to estimate software development costs and ask the project managers to estimate costs for governance and oversight. Combine the two to get a more realistic project estimate. 3 ONE in SIX projects is a black swan with an average overrun of 200% and schedule overrun of almost 70%. LET THE BUSINESS OWN THE PROJECT.
  5. 5. Headspring Solution Don’t fit a square peg into a round hole by selecting familiar technology that is not appropriate for the project; or selecting new technology just because it’s interesting. Although you may be able to deliver a product within scope and budget initially, any shortfall in the technology will become apparent during incremental releases. If you do use new tools, be sure to apply tried-and- true project management methodologies for product planning and team structure. Although the underlying tools have changed, project management needs remain the same. Iterative development still requires planning. When testing technology, ensure that the test environment mirrors the production environment. Many projects fail because testing isn’t performed in real-world usage environments. SELECT THE APPROPRIATE TOOLS FOR THE JOB. 4 of businesses experience the same major tech failure MULTIPLE TIMES. 81%
  6. 6. Headspring Solution Prioritize with the Pareto Principle: 20% of features deliver 80% of the system value. Tackling that 20% first – and getting it live – keeps you from spending the remaining 80% of your budget on lower-value items. Focus efforts on the 80% of the functions that will deliver value for most users. Avoid being distracted by ‘one off’ requests for features/ functions that only a few users want. FOCUS ON MOST VALUABLE FUNCTIONS. Larger IT projects are almost more likely to fail than small projects.5 50%
  7. 7. Headspring Solution Too much time spent working on infrastructure in the back room rather than user functionality can derail a project. Instead, include budget and time for user-acceptance testing during the project rather than seeking to deliver a completed, final product. Accept that as development continues, the business needs will change. Be ready to adjust to those changes. DELIVER A TANGIBLE PRODUCT QUICKLY: CLOSE THE LOOP ON WORKING SOFTWARE EARLY. Large IT projects run over budget and 7% over schedule while delivering 56% less value than predicted.6 45%
  8. 8. Headspring Solution Communicate with the business stakeholders and end users early and often to avoid “mutual mystification.” You’ll address small issues before they become big problems. Document a project charter and secure agreement from all stakeholders. The project charter includes the definition of project success, parameters and constraints. Document the project in a written record and make this document available to all stakeholders on a collaboration platform. DOCUMENT AND COMMUNICATE. IT project cost overruns increase by for every additional year spent.7 15% $ $ $ $
  9. 9. Headspring Solution Use the 25% rule: When a project constraint (time, cost or scope) reaches 25% completion, assess the project and reevaluate the plan. If the budget is at 25% but you are only 5% through scope, your project is in the danger zone and you might need outside help. EVALUATE AS YOU GO.SIZE IMPACTS project success.8 IT projects with less than $1 million in labor content IT projects with more than $1 million in labor content 52%CHALLENGED 38%FAILED 10%SUCCESSFUL 76%SUCCESSFUL 20%CHALLENGED 4%FAILED
  10. 10. Headspring Solution Agile means adapting to changing requirements – but you must have the requirements to get started rather than figuring them out as you go. Agile development does not mean ignoring proven project management methodologies. Continue to use project-management best practices like setting expectations and formulating an execution strategy. APPLY AGILE PROPERLY. Cost savings generated by optimizing application development and maintenance (ADM).9 50%
  11. 11. For portfolio strategy and application delivery with a 98% success rate, contact Headspring’s enterprise advisory team at 877-459-2260. 1 Forrester Research 2 Innotas, 2013 3 Harvard Business Review, Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier Than You Think, September 2011. 4 Compuware, Tech Fail: The High Cost of Poor IT Performance 5 Compuware, Tech Fail: The High Cost of Poor IT Performance 6 McKinsey, Delivering large-scale IT projects on time, on budget, and on value, 2012 7 McKinsey, Delivering large-scale IT projects on time, on budget, and on value, 2012 8 Standish Group, The Chaos Manifesto, 2013 9 Gartner, http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2711017 Sources:

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