Dec 17, 2018 Dec 17 at 2:25pm
There are plenty of risks that come with IT projects and managing them can be difficult.
However, acknowledging potential problems before they happen can save a project from failing
its constraints. One of these primary risks is changing scope. This is something I hear about
frequently from friends in the field. It can come with little notice and change multiple aspects
that complicate the project. Management can only do so much to protect from scope change but
it also seems that many developers are accustomed to these happenings. It seems that since scope
change is a fairly common occurrence, managers and employees continue their work tasks and
accept the changes they cannot control. Managers should be clear with stakeholders about any
scope changes and the affects they will have on the project to reduce any negative consequences.
Potential changes should also be evaluated by those working on the project to offer concerns and
better estimations of changes to time and cost.
Time constraints are also a problem for IT projects. They are notorious for failing time
constraints regularly. They can be due to unforeseen circumstances or project complications.
Particularly when integrating a project to an existing structure there can be timely complications
with compatibility or functionality. The best way to avoid these is to identify potential problems
beforehand and prepare for them as much as possible. Ensuring you have a knowledgeable and
dedicated team to prevent issues in problem areas like integration can reduce problems and
According to Bailey and Riffel, some recommendations for IT project management and IT risks
are to have strong leadership, project buy-in, clear purpose, stakeholders’ roles, and
communication. Strong leadership is crucial in businesses. A good leader can mitigate problems,
advise stakeholders, encourage teams, and many more beneficial attributes that can lead to a
successful project. I have worked with both good and bad leaders in the past and the obvious
value of good leadership is undeniable. Even in undesirable work conditions, a strong leader can
make it desirable work conditions. Project buy-in is the backing from employees who will use
the deliverable and their support. This is something that should be used more in my opinion. I
have never used a system in a previous job that worked correctly, or was intuitive or simple. It is
important that the intended users of the product can actually use it and enjoy using it.
Understanding the purpose of the project is also important to IT projects. This goes with the user
buy-in. If the final product does not meet expectations it should not be the final product. The
projected benefits of the project whether it be ease-of-use or purely monetary need to be met in
order for the project to be truly successful. This is also where stakeholders and communication
are important. Stakeholders should be involved and vocal about their wants and dislikes to help
guide project managers towards a balanced final project. Additionally, project workers should
also develop high levels of communication with management to voice their concerns, issues,
potential problems, and to build working relationships with team members. Communications
from the project team can highlight upcoming problems, solutions, and create a highly functional
team. Communication can improve working atmosphere, cultural environments, develop bonds
between teammates, and many other positive benefits for the project. All of these aspects are
important and just like the triple constraints should be balanced so should these elements. I do
not currently have an organization, but things like strong leadership, buy-in, and communication
are what I consider important and will look for in future organizations.
https://www.gfoa.org/sites/default/files/GFR_JUN_10_30.pdfLinks to an external site.
Hi Hayley, thanks for the informative post. There is no doubt that one of the key sources of risk
in IT projects failure is...