Complicated failures; simple causes

Kroll Ontrack released surprising results from a survey related to business continuity planning. According to the study: [N]early half of respondents, 43 percent, said they don’t believe their companies test their backup systems to ensure data can be produced if needed.

Kroll Ontrack released surprising results from a survey related to business continuity planning. According to the study:

[N]early half of respondents, 43 percent, said they don’t believe their companies test their backup systems to ensure data can be produced if needed.

Many IT projects fail because participants don't take steps to fix seemingly-obvious problems. This statistic, if true, means a significant number of companies will experience serious IT failure because they didn't follow simple, common sense policies.

How can an IT manager address this problem? While there's no silver bullet, establishing a culture of responsibility and accountability is certainly the right first step. Many project failures could be averted if management listened to people in the trenches.

The solution therefore has two components:

  1. Folks on the project should be empowered to observe problems and honestly report what they see.
  2. Management should take seriously any problem reports brought forth by the project team.

Fully implementing this system is much easier said than done. Nonetheless, this simple prescription will prevent many complicated IT failures.

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