In Roberts’s text, statistics indicates that the success rate of technology projects is only 25%. This low statistic can be attributed to factors such as poor project planning, lack of clearly set objectives, project complexity and over engineering, governance issues, and failure to align stakeholder requirements. In terms of poor planning, project that lack clearly defined methodologies, tools and processes are more likely to fail due to the lack of a clear direction. Lack of clearly set objectives means that the project has not been clearly defined and thus the requirements are unclear. When the goals are unclear, then the net result is a poor project design which leads to sliding timelines and endless debate. Looking at project complexity and over engineering, most technology projects strive to include the most advanced technologies with little regard for usability. The creation of very large and complex projects with little or no user involvement often leads to project failure at the time of implementation. Finally, in terms of governance most projects fail due to conflict of interest and bureaucracy issues between the various stakeholders such as designers, regulators, financiers, managers and compliance staff.
In order to improve the success rate of IT projects, there is a need to set clear goals, use tested methodologies and tools and involve different stakeholders including the users in the early stages of planning. With respect to governance, there is a need to set up a clear structure and policies to deal with issues that may lead to conflicts of interest.
The Project Management Office (PMO) refers to a department in an organization setup to ensure that project management standards are met and maintained in the organization. The main goal of a PMO is to ensure the organization benefits from following standard project management methods, processes and policies. The PMO thus serves as the main source of guidance, metrics and documentation related to project management in an organization. The PMO structure, therefore, has a great impact on the success rate of projects. A PMO with a highly standardized structure has less likelihood of failure since things as inconsistent processes, or disparate metrics is less likely to be observed. Simply put, the PMO structure chosen should aim at aligning the objectives of all stakeholders and putting them on the same page. A well-structured PMO thus makes it easier to monitor projects consistently across the board and improves the project success rate.
When gathering requirements from across divisional lines, system and business analysts are likely to face various obstacles such as communication problems and conflicting requirements. In essence, requirements are solicited from one stakeholder at different periods in time or from differently opinionated stakeholders. At times, the requirements may conflict or change which means they cannot all be met. The solution in this case is to get all stakeholders together, solicit, document and publish all their requirements, while at the same time getting rid of conflicts that may arise.
Communication problems when gathering requirements from across divisional lines form a broad category of issues. These issues range from language barriers, miscommunication, unclear definitions, wrong assumptions, variances in domain knowledge, lack of notation standards and channel barriers. The solution to communication problems during requirements gathering is striving to improve communication skills among stakeholders, documenting gathered information and publishing feedback and reviews. Other ways of improving communication include creating glossaries of terms, verifying assumptions and using standard notations during documentation.
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