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Successful IT Project Delivery: Learning the Lessons of Project Failure

by: David Yardley

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Retail Price: $64.95

Publisher: ,Dec-2002


ISBN: 0201756064
ISBN13: 9780201756067

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      The repeated failure of IT projects to deliver an adequate return on investment remains a pressing concern in the industry. In a climate where corporate development budgets are being reviewed or even withdrawn, IT projects are no longer seen as a means to deliver automatic benefits into the organization.

  In Successful IT Project Delivery, author and experienced IT consultant David Yardley examines the causes of this catalog of underachievement and provides the reader with an opportunity so often denied within their own workplace -- to learn the lessons from project failure.

  A core theme in the book is that IT project failure is not simply a technical issue which can be resolved with technology, but also a business issue, requiring ownership, commitment and understanding from those who seek business change through the use of IT. When the business and IT strategies within an organization do not complement and support each other, things can go wrong very quickly.

  Key features:

  International case histories of failed IT projects, from the public and private sectors

Extracts from end-of-project reviews

Unique project 'health-check' examination for each stage of the process

Troubleshooting chart to identify early warning symptoms and suggest corrective action

A list of 20 essential 'lessons', drawn from previous project failures

A summary of popular IT methodologies and their strengths and weaknesses

  Successful IT Project Delivery recognizes that people, not technologies, are the key component of IT projects. Its lessons are addressed to all major project stakeholders: business sponsors, project managers and team members, IT professionals, consultants, and business users.


  Author Bio

      David Yardley is currently a Principal Consultant for CACI (UK) Ltd. He has over fifteen years of experience working in the IT industry, covering a variety of business sectors, including aero-engineering, telecommunications, computer manufacture, transport, and public sector projects. His previous publications include Careers in Computing and IT and Getting a Top Job in IT.


Table of Contents






      1. Why do IS projects fail?

  The reality gap.

  Types of IS project failure.

      The scope for IS project failure.

  The role of project management in project failure.

Defining project success.

Case study: Concorde.

Defining project management success.

The overlap between the project and project management.

Project vs project management failure.

Case study: Company W.


      2. Enabling change--the business of IT.

  Strategic business planning.





      Aligning the IT strategy with the business.

  Implementing the strategy.

      Building the business case.

  Case study: Company X.

Structure and content.

      Managing change.

  The change cycle.

      Resistance to change.

  Human motivation.

Case study: The Piper Alpha disaster.

Learning the lessons.

The Milgram experiments.

Case study: Philips Electronics.

      The psychological impact of change.

  The Hawthorne studies.

Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory.

Case study: Cerner.

      Change: critical success factors.


Further reading.

      3. Managing the requirements.

  What is requirements management?

The requirements management lifecycle.

  Requirements elicitation.

Requirements analysis.

Requirements design.

Requirements validation.

      Evaluating requirements.

  Estimating the cost of requirements.

Assessing the impact of requirements.

      Barriers to effective requirements management.

  Principal causes of requirements management failure.

      The dangers of using software packages.

  Evaluating a software package.

Selecting the right software package.

      Requirements management: critical success factors.


Further reading.

      4. The IS methodology--a framework for project delivery.

  The role of IS methodologies.

  The limitations of IS methodologies.

      A comparison of popular IS methodologies.

  Systems development methodologies.

Project management methodologies.

      IS methodologies: critical success factors.


Further reading.


          5. Planning the project.

  What is a project?

  Types of IS projects.

      Hallmarks of a healthy project.

  User involvement.

Executive support.

A capable and experienced project manager.

Clear business objectives and requirements.

Small milestones.

Competent and committed staff.

Proper planning.


Managing project constraints.

      The project plan.

  Gaining benefit from the plan.

Case study: The London Ambulance Service Computer-Aided Dispatch System.

      Planning the project: critical success factors.


      6.Project building blocks: processes.

  Project management.

  What is project management?

Key features of project management.

The project lifecycle.

      Program management.

  What is program management?

Key features of program management.

A framework for program management.

      Risk management.

  What is risk management?

The risk management process.

      Configuration management.

  What is configuration management?

The configuration management process.

Introducing a configuration management system.

Benefits of configuration management.

      Processes: critical success factors.

Further reading.

      7. Planning the benefits.

  Why do IS projects fail to deliver benefits?

The nature of IS investments.

  Case study: Company Y.

      Building the benefits--the benefits management process.

The benefits management lifecycle.

  Identifying the benefits.

Developing the benefits management plan.

Executing the benefits plan.

Evaluating the outcome.

Determining the potential for future benefits.

      Techniques for investment appraisal.

Benefits management: critical success factors.


Further reading.


          8. Project building blocks: people.

  The human element of IS project failure.

  Organizational culture.

Internal pressures to deliver.

Resistance to change.


Poorly performing project teams.

      Key causes of project team weakness.

  Undermined motivation.

Uncontrolled problem employees.

Poor working conditions.

A lack of training and support.

Adding developers late to a project.

      The role of stakeholders in the project.

  Stakeholder analysis.

Case study: The London Stock Exchange Taurus project.

Stakeholder conflict.

Stakeholder resistance.

      Improving the human aspects of the project.

  Promoting effective communication.

Reducing the blame culture.

Building the core project team.

Training, coaching, and mentoring.

Case study: Company Z.

      Supplier management.

  Managing the contract.

The benefits of supplier management.

The causes of failure.

      People: critical success factors.


Further reading.

      9. Managing software development.

  The software development lifecycle.

  Traditional software development.

Iterative development.

The causes of software development failure.

Case study: Denver International Airport Baggage System.

The global scope of failure.

      Measuring software development complexity.

  Defining software complexity.

The need for software metrics.

Estimating techniques.

Presenting the estimates.

      Achieving software development excellence.

  The software Capability Maturity Model.

      Reducing software project failures using the CMM.

  Using tools and techniques to implement the CMM.

Reducing software development schedule failure.

Planning for software excellence.

      Managing software development: critical success factors.


Further reading.

      10. The need for quality.

  What is quality?

Project quality management.

Software quality assurance.

  SQA and the systems development lifecycle.

Using SQA to support verification and validation.

      Total Quality Management.

  The benefits of TQM.

Case study: Intel.

      Barriers to quality.

Quality: critical success factors.


Further reading.


          11. The importance of testing.

  Why do application systems fail?

  Programming errors.

Software complexity.

Vague and misleading user requirements.

Changing software requirements.

      The case for testing.

  The origins of testing failure.

The objectives of testing.

The scope of testing.

Case study: The lessons of Ariane 5.

      Making the investment count: iteration.

Making the investment count: testing tools.

The testing process.

  Test program management.

      Making the transition from testing to product release.

  Key deployment activities.

Case study: UK Passport Agency.

      Testing: critical success factors.


Further reading.

      12. Learning the lessons.

  Project failure factors.

Learning the lessons--20 ways to reduce IS project failure.

The potential for long-term project success.

  The London Ambulance Service.

The UK Passport Agency.



Appendix 1.

Appendix 2.


Index. 0201756064T10242002