From Risk Management for IT Projects: How to Deal with Over 150 Issues and Risks


Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Effective Issues Management and Coordination
Chapter 3: Analysis and Measurements of Issues and Risk


Information systems (IS), or information technology (IT), have been around for over 50 years. The goal of most IS or IT efforts has been to effect change and improvement in business processes and management information. People have been working at this for thousands of years. With all of this experience, you might think that IT work and projects would be very successful if completed on time and within budget.

Too bad. This is still not the case. In the 1980s people were writing that over half (50%) of IT efforts fail. Moreover, among those that are successfully completed, even fewer have resulted in change and improvement. Some recent surveys and one by the authors point to a percentage here of about 30 35% that resulted in tangible, measurable benefits. This is not very good. One disaster story in 2003 was that of a major Japanese bank that had undertaken a major IT project. It was a colossal failure US$110 million was written off. No salvage. There appears to be little improvement.

Why does this happen? One reason is that technical staff and managers view each IT effort as unique and individual. System development is often viewed as an art or a craft. Lessons learned are gathered, if at all, at the end of a project, when most of the people have vanished to work on other...

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Topics of Interest

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