First, I want to touch on the mention of IT making the world flatter; while I immediately thought of the many funny memes out there, I see the point in his statement. Due to technology’s significant impact on the world by connecting us all, major world events and even local occurrences certainly contribute to the success of business operations and the general satisfaction of the human experience. Poor planning, the first discussed reason that IT projects fail, is definitely a major player on the defense side of us trying to prevent us from accomplishing technology-related tasks. The flexibility of software, hardware, and personnel need to be adaptable to change, something that is often difficult to achieve.
Next up on the list, unclear goals/objectives mere mentioned; this is an essential aspect of any project. When building something from scratch or merely updating a process, clear communication on what is expected, what is required, what would be ideal, what resources are available, and the personnel involved in the project all need to be clearly indicated and enforced. The third reason IT projects fail is misalignment, which piggybacks off of the previous unclear goals/objectives; for this reason, aspects like market shares are vital to understand when working on a sophisticated project. Quality of interaction was discussed next, pertaining to the consensus of what quality is expected in the end results. Different people have different perceptions of what quality work is, so it is vital to align on these objectives. If the client wants a purple house, but everyone else thinks it is ugly, the client still needs a purple house.
The fifth reason IT projects fail is changing objectives. More often than not, no matter what stage a project is in, stakeholders might desire to add or remove functionality, resulting in chaos if not managed correctly. Unrealistic resource estimates is another reason mentioned; in this, misinterpreting resource costs and allotments can cause devastation to even the most planned projects, as inflation and the economy change as much as the direction of the wind. Failing to estimate possible resource changes can cripple project management, especially in IT. Resources, even when provided by a company you work for, are not always guaranteed to be there. For the final item mentioned, human capital is a vital cog in the machine. Due to the inability to often choose who you want on a project, or due to their lack of technical or personable skills, the challenges of human resources can be challenging to manage.
List and describe “soft skills” needed in managing projects. Why is each important?
For the mentioned soft skills for IT project managers, several were suggested to help fill in the gaps of the previous list for the reasons an IT project fails. Soft skills such as making your people happy and involved, being a good leader (technical) and a good leader (personal), being an excellent communicator, having proper planning skills, and being proactive. Furthermore, a project manager needs to promote the company’s vision, ensure checklists are completed, and, most importantly, learn from their mistakes. Time management is another vital soft skill. Overall, this podcast was filled with exciting ideas one can use to improve their project management abilities; only together can we face the next day’s challenges.
Rahim, E. (2019). How to Avoid Failure on IT Projects. Retrieved June 02, 2020, from https://soundcloud.com/emad-rahim/how-to-avoid-failure-on-it-projects.
Categories: Group Theory