The Difference Between Failure and Success in IT Projects

26. april 2017
Stakeholder Analysis

by Carsten Bang Nielsen

Have you have ever created a stakeholder analysis in the start-up phase of your project and never opened it again? Do you use a goal hierarchy or a similar form of goal management to manage your scope – here is why (based on my own experience) it’s worth the effort using both.

I recently finished a huge IT project where I was responsible for some of the enabling tracks. The overall project was delayed and ultimately, we had to cut some corners, which generated an extra work load after going live. I expected that this would create a stir, but never the less, the customer regarded the project as a success. So, I asked myself; why was that the case? I realized that the overall project manager ensured success on the strategic goals, and these goals were simply of greater importance than some of the operational goals.

I think this is a good example of stakeholder management, as well as goal management. You should know your stakeholders, get to understand their viewpoint, and identify their goals and realize their influence on the project. Sometimes the official goals are not the only goals, and many times only a few goals are important. If you reach these few but important goals, your project might be considered a success even though you never achieved the rest. The key is to know the most important stakeholders and the goals of most importance to them.

Knowing the goals is crucial, but you must also know the solution you are building to make sure that you reach the related goals. If you are not able to evaluate this yourself, you need to have an architect that you can cooperate with to keep the solution on the right track.

Even though project plans, budgets, issue logs and all the other tools we use are incredibly important, understanding and knowing your stakeholders and their goals, is the most important facet of any project. My advice is to create and actively use stakeholder management and goal hierarchies to ensure your solution stay on the right track, not only within time and budget.

Contact us if you’re interested in knowing more about how to make your IT project a success.

Carsten Bang

Carsten Bang

is Head of Project Management at 2BM. He has more than 20 years of experience with SAP projects and possesses the ability to manage high performance and effective project management in large SAP projects.

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