Shaping a technology project for success
Some studies have found that information systems and technology projects have a failure rate of over 65%. Given a growing reliance on technology and systems related activities, this is a staggering statistic. That’s a lot of wasted business capital and energy being spent on initiatives that are failing to deliver on the outcomes required!
One concept that can be applied to improve these results is called project shaping. Shaping is an approach that is used to prepare a project for success by bringing together the less tangible elements.
Ideally, shaping will seek to understand the critical success factors for a project. This understanding will help create an acceptable chance of success before you start a new project.
To know if your project is ready to execute you can ask yourself a few questions:
1. Why is this important to the organisation?
2. Is the vision clear and able to be communicated?
3. Why is this relevant now?
4. How do we build alignment to reach an (official or unofficial) mandate?
5. What risks will prevent us from effectively achieving the vision?
6. How will the organisation culture affect the way we implement?
7. What is the technical architecture required to execute, and will it REALLY deliver the outcomes required?
8. What is the readiness and level of complexity in the solution?
9. Do we have the capabilities to execute this work?
10. Should we continue?
Depending on the size of the initiative, its complexity, and relative importance, these questions can be studied in more depth. This list is not a checklist. Each requires a reflective honest answer given by experienced professionals.
Tell us about your experiences in helping projects realise their intended benefits; what questions do you ask prior to executing your projects?
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