Align expectations for project success

Align expectations for project success

Summary: One of the most difficult challenges facing any enterprise implementation is ensuring the various interest groups and participants define success the same way. Watch the video for more on this important topic.


Recently, I attended Progress Software's user conference, called Progress Revolution, here in Boston. During the conference, I recorded a videotape, explaining the relevance of BPM to achieving IT success, which is embedded below.

Perhaps the most difficult challenge in achieving IT success is aligning the diverse expectations of various project participants, stakeholders, senior management, and so on. In complex organizations, meaning almost every company, getting all these folks to agree sometimes seems a near impossibility. That's a primary reason so many enterprise technology projects don't achieve expected results.

To achieve success, multiple groups (each possessing its own goals and independent measures for success) must come together around a particular set of goals and processes.

As I describe in the video, success means understanding the common goal, mapping out a plan and strategy to get there, and then delivering the plan. Visibility, planning, and execution together create the desired results.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Software

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  • I get so frustrated when I see "project" articles.

    I've been a project manager for more years than I care to admit. The last 20 or so as an outside consultant / engineer brought in for critical projects.

    Usually these companies have some top flight managers, engineers, IT, etc. people but they are NOT project managers. Project management is a skill set of its own and it's not something just anyone or everyone can do well.

    It frustrates me when I see highly skilled people thrust into project management because A.) They are skilled technically or B.) Hold a management position or C.) Are the closest warm body to the project. I say frustrating because I see it all the time and I see the results (failure) and how it can ruin otherwise brilliant careers. Most people don't have what it takes to stand up and say, "I am not a project manager, you need someone that is".

    What is even worse is the "Learn as you go" attitude. What that really means is "Learn while you fail". I don't know whose numbers you like but my experience is that 75% to 80% of IT projects fail or do not provide the benefit / solution that was desired. It isn't because those involved aren't smart or don't work hard. It's because they are asked to do something thay are ill equiped to do.
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