Albert Einstein once said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Think about this for a minute and ask yourself, does this apply to the way you deliver your IT projects?
The CIO community is rife with debates about the importance of improving project delivery success rates and becoming more aligned with the business. Despite this, remarkably little is actually improving. According to the latest figures from the Standish Group’s “CHAOS report”, over the past two years IT project success rates declined massively. Key figures include:
• Just 32 per cent of IT projects were considered successful;
• Nearly one in four were considered failures, having been cancelled before completion or delivered but never used;
• The remaining 44 per cent were considered challenged: they finished late, over budget, or with fewer than the required features and functions.
The bottom line is that IT projects in large enterprises are complex and it’s difficult to get IT delivery right on a large scale. IT project failures result in frustrated end users and IT teams but I believe we professionals are the ones who need to change first; after all, it is our area of expertise.
Consider how a startup business with limited funding would create a new product or service: it would be creative, get it done as quickly and cheaply as possible, but still produce a robust product that’s attractive to customers. If the product is a success then the startup will reap the rewards and can then invest further in product development. Also, consider that experienced entrepreneurs have a 30 per cent success rate, so they are only going to invest the minimum amount required to get the business up and running.