IT Project Management: Infamous failures, classic mistakes, and best practices

What is the ratio of failed IT projects?
2 out of 3 IT projects fail
What infamous IT projects failed because of contractor failures?
IRS, FAA, and FBI IT projects
What infamous IT projects failed because of poor requirements determination?
FAA and FBI IT projects
What infamous IT project failed because of ineffective stakeholder management?
Denver airport IT project
What infamous IT projects failed because of research-oriented development?
McDonalds IT Project
What infamous IT projects failed because of poor estimation?
AMR corp. IT project
What infamous IT projects failed because of insufficient risk management?
BofA IT project
What are the 4 types of classic mistakes?
people, process, product, and technology
What factor has the largest effect on productivity and quality?
motivation, followed by individual capabilities and working relationships among team members
What is the most common complaint team members have about their leaders?
that they fail to take action to deal with an employee
What does it me to waste time in the “fuzzy front end”?
wasting time before a project starts, during the approval and budgeting process, and then tightening the production schedule later
what does poor estimation lead to?
excessive pressure on team members, lower morale, and lower productivity
What is insufficient risk management?
the failure to proactively assess and control the things that might go wrong with a project
What are common project risks?
lack of sponsorship, changes in stakeholder buy-in, scope creep, and contractor failure.
What is the largest contributor to project schedule?
product size, followed by project characteristics
What is requirements gold-plating?
the inclusion of unnecessary product size and/or characteristics on the front end
What is developer gold-plating?
When you want to try out new technology or new features, even if they are not required in the product
What are technology mistakes?
the use and misuse of modern technology
What is silver-bullet syndrome?
when project teams latch onto a single new practice or new technology and expect it to solve their problems but are inevitably disappointed
What are examples of silver-bullet syndrome?
offshoring, radio-frequency identification, and extreme programing
Examples of technology project failures
silver-bullet syndrome, overestimated savings from new tools or methods and switching tools in the middle of a project
What percent of mistakes are process mistakes?
45%
What percent of mistakes are people mistakes?
43%
What percent of mistakes are product mistakes?
8%
What percent of mistakes are technology mistakes?
4%
What should project managers be experts in?
Managing processes and people
What does the estimation and scheduling process consist of?
sizing or scoping the project, estimating the effort and time required, and then developing a calendar schedule, taking into consideration such factors as resource availability, technology acquisition, and business cycles.
What are the benefits of accurate estimates?
fewer mistakes, less overtime, schedule pressure, and staff turnover
How can project teams improve estimating and scheduling?
by using developer-based estimates, historical data, algorithms, and estimation software
What are the 4 valuable approaches to improving project estimation and scheduling?
1. timebox development because shorter, smaller projects are easier to estimate
2. creating a work breakdown structure
3. retrospectives to capture actual size, effort and time data
4. project management office to maintain a repository of project data over time
What are the 5 most common classic mistakes?
1. poor estimation or scheduling
2. ineffective stakeholder management
3. insufficient risk management
4. insufficient planning
5. shortchanged quality assurance
How can you improve stakeholder management?
use a stakeholder worksheet and assessment graph
What are best practices for stakeholder management?
Use of communication plans, creation of a project management office, and portfolio management.
What is the process of risk management?
1. Risk identification
2. analysis
3. prioritization
4. risk management
5. planning
6. resolution
7. monitoring
What are best practices for avoiding insufficient risk management?
using prioritized risk assessment table, actively managing a top-10 risks list, and conducting interim retrospectives.
What are best practices for avoiding insufficient planning?
have a comprehensive project charter, clearly define project governance, and portfolio management
When a project falls behind schedule, what are the first two areas to get cut?
testing and training