Is your IT project in trouble?
Over the years we’ve all read in the news about high profile IT projects that are forever slipping, hemorrhaging money (often in the millions) and are out of control. However, if you woke up one morning to find that one of those was your responsibility; would you know where to start?
For more than 25 years DMW has helped many organizations successfully recover from this unfortunate position.
The following five areas explore some of the key considerations to bear in mind.
Accept it is failing…
- and stop! Only by removing the day-to-day delivery pressures and creating a firebreak will you enable the project to take stock and gain some perspective. Depending on the size and complexity of the project this period typically lasts between one and four weeks.
Review with a trusted advisor…
- to help cut through the historical baggage that always accompanies a failing IT project. The introduction of a fresh pair of experienced eyes will provide the impartial challenge and rigour with which to revalidate the project’s fundamentals (including the business case) and future viability.
Restructure for success…
- by being bold and not shying away from the hard decisions. Setting out the technical road to recovery is very important, however special consideration should also be given to the project’s:
- Commercials – e.g. are there any supplier contracts with expensive exit clauses?
- Financials – e.g. does the project have authority to spend the necessary amount to reach completion?
- Resources – e.g. is a comprehensive reshuffle of the existing project team required?
- Governance – e.g. are the right structures in place to make the critical decisions in the coming weeks and months?
Ultimately the restructure and re-planning must be realistic; as otherwise you run the risk of wasting yet further time and money.
Rebuild stakeholder confidence and buy-in
- This will take time, however the grace period following a restructure will be short lived, so ensuring the restructured project makes the right impressions early on is vital. This should include bringing both the business and the future IT support teams along on the recovery journey with you via communicating regularly and asking questions, listening and responding in a timely manner.
Never underestimate the challenge ahead…
- as the idiom “the devil is in the detail” lies at the heart of every IT rescue project. Never forget this, as after initial successes it will be easy to get lulled into a false sense of security. New IT infrastructure and capability typically have touch-points back into legacy solutions or require complex data and user migrations. In our experience this is often where the majority of the delivery risk will lie. So by constantly applying the appropriate rigour, due diligence and internal challenge, the project’s chances of success will be vastly improved.