Why IT projects fail [reverse podcast]

CRM guru, Paul Greenberg, and I discuss why IT projects fail in an informative reverse podcast.
Written by Michael Krigsman, Contributor

[Click the graphic above to jump to the podcast.]

I caught up with CRM guru, Paul Greenberg, at Oracle OpenWorld this past week in San Francisco for a reverse podcast. Although I usually ask the questions, this time Paul interviewed me for his CRM career site. We discussed several key issues to help IT folks understand failing projects they may encounter.

The conversation begins with a review of why 30-70 percent of IT projects fail in some important way: these projects are either late, over-budget, or don't deliver the scope promised when the project began.

Political issues are among the most significant causes of problems on IT projects. Paul asked me to elaborate on this topic:

In an ideal world, everyone pulls together for the sake of the team. In some cases, one or more team members may pursue an alternate agenda, or personal goal, that conflicts with accomplishing the project mission. In extreme cases, these folks can actually sabotage the project.

Most of these political operators are easy to identify and only cause the team hassle and inconvenience. On the other hand, truly skillful political players are subtle and nuanced, which sometimes makes them almost impossible to spot. These folks can be dangerous, self-interested people; fortunately, relatively few of these nasty creatures roam the halls of IT project management.

Listen to the podcast to learn about denial and the moment of project truth: when an organization realizes it has wasted big bucks on a project that's going down the tubes.

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