5 Project Points of Failure to Avoid

Sure, falling in love with technology can cause big project headaches, but rarely does technology alone cause an IT project to fail.

“Yes, IT sometimes falls in love with its technology, but most failures come about, not as a result of the technology, but as a result of the management of technology,” says Michael Krigsman of Asuret, a project management consultancy based in Brookline, Mass. “The consequences of failure can be dramatic, from a technical standpoint and especially from a business standpoint. And the sad part is that most of these failures could be avoided.”

Baseline talked to Krigsman and a number of other IT project experts who identified five points of failure most likely to torpedo projects.

1. Lack of Preparation
One of the most obvious reasons a project fails is poor planning at the outset. Managers who fail to properly scope a project, apply risk management principles and plan in time for quality assurance and security assurance are courting ruin.
Some experts advocate implementing an exploratory phase during the chartering process, which allows project stakeholders to plan and create a wish list—with accompanying budget—that will give management a good handle on the process before the project is approved.

“The reason why a lot of projects fail is lack of preparation in the first place,” says Steve McConnell, CEO of Construx Software, a Bellevue, Wash.-based software consulting firm. “If you go to the exploratory phase, part of the purpose of that phase is to do some of that preparation before a project has even been approved. So the activity itself actually reduces the chance that the project will fail if, in fact, a project is fully launched.”

*See also: 8 Ways To Save Your Next Project