Simulation drama: 'Why IT projects fail'

Listen to business and IT stakeholders work together to create a successful project under difficult conditions.
Written by Michael Krigsman, Contributor

Play audio version

As we all know, almost all IT implementation failures suffer from unreconciled points of view, confusion, politics, and unclear definitions of success. No wonder these situations are difficult to manage and control successfully.

To shed light on the inner workings of IT failure, particularly the dynamics among stakeholders with conflicting goals and agendas, the IT Service Management Forum Australia (itSMFA) held an interesting event as part of its annual conference.
The group created an IT project simulation, called a "hypothetical," and brought together experts to discuss problems and solutions.

Rather than a dry panel discussion, however, each expert was assigned a specific role in the drama and presented from the perspective of his or her particular role. The actual briefing document given to the participants is included below in this post. As you can see from the briefing document, the drama follows the trials and tribulations of a mining company seeking to replace its service desk software.

As we get into the story, short-sightedness, narrow points of view, and even wisdom shape the burgeoning failure. The drama was presented live before a large audience as the final keynote at the annual LeadIT conference. For what it's worth, my character is the head of risk management, reporting to the CEO; I participated via Skype call.

Listen to the event recording by clicking  the player at the top of this post.

It's a unique opportunity to dive into the minds of business and IT stakeholders struggling, together, to turn around a difficult situation.

Why IT Projects Succeed or Fail

Thanks to Rob England and Brad Busch for organizing this great event and inviting me to participate. s

Editorial standards