Nearly every IT project fails or succeeds based on just ten factors. Identifying these factors is the easy part. After you’ve reviewed the list, you’ll have the opportunity to practice using them on some short case studies.

1. People. The right, or wrong, people were assigned to the project. These people possessed or lacked the skills, training, talent and/or experience necessary to succeed.

2. Analysis. The business need(s) and the best IT solution was/was not properly identified and understood.

3. Planning. The plan for the project, including all of its costs, risks, goals, measurements of success or failure, kill switch and more was flawed or complete.

4. Marketing & Communication. Before, during and after implementation, internal and/or external marketing and communication was faulty or effective in helping people succeed.

5. Stakeholders Engagement. The people the project had a direct impact on were or were not adequately involved in the project. The stakeholders might be customers, staff managers and/or subject area experts.

6. Project Management. The right or wrong manager(s) or management team was assigned to the project and managed or failed to manage the project.

7. Governance. The leader(s) of the organization supported or failed to support the project. Bad governance can include not giving IT management does a seat at the executive table or what is sometimes called the “C” level.

8. Catastrophic, Unpredictable Change. Some aspect(s) of the project or its people changed unpredictably and catastrophically after the project was underway.

9. Resources. The organization did or did not have/commit the resources (money and/or people) necessary to complete the project.

10. Change Management. The project required people to significantly change their work habits or processes but this transition from old to new was or was not recognized and managed effectively.

Seems simple enough, right?

Now see how easily things can go wrong.  Read the case studies, one by one, as they appear here.

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About Dave

Dave Tedlock is the head of NetOutcomes, a digital marketing firm. For years he has written a marketing and technology column for various publications, including the Tucson Citizen’s Tucson Business Edge, Idaho Business Review, Inside Tucson Business, and The New Mexico Business Weekly. Tedlock taught writing and business communication for eight years in many universities, including the Harvard Business School and Iowa State University. For 13 years he worked in ad agencies as a copywriter, account manager or creative director. Tedlock has published short stories, scholarly articles and a writing textbook (with Paul Jarvie). He earned a Master’s degree in Fiction Writing from Brown University. He lives in Tucson and Santa Fe.

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