Risk Management for IT Projects: How to Deal with Over 150 Issues and Risks

Bennet P. Lientz, Lee Larssen

  • 出版商: Butterworth-Heineman
  • 出版日期: 2006-05-16
  • 售價: $1,870
  • 貴賓價: 9.5$1,777
  • 語言: 英文
  • 頁數: 352
  • 裝訂: Paperback
  • ISBN: 0750682310
  • ISBN-13: 9780750682312
  • 立即出貨 (庫存=1)




The rate of failure of IT projects has remained little changed in survey after survey over the past 15-20 years?over 40-50%. This has happened in spite of new technology, innovative methods and tools, and different management methods. Why does this happen? Why can't the situation be better? One reason is that many think of each IT effort as unique. In reality many IT projects are very similar at a high, strategic level. Where they differ is in the people and exact events?the detail. If you read the literature or have been in information systems or IT for some time, you have seen the same reasons for failure and the same problems and issues recur again and again. In this book IT Management experts Ben Lientz and Lee Larssen show you how to identify and track the recurring issues leading to failure in IT projects and provide a proven, modern method for addressing them. By following the recommendations in this books readers can significantly reduce the risk of IT failures and increase the rate of success. Benefits of using this approach: – Issues are identified earlier?giving more time for solution and action. – Issues are resolved more consistently since the approach tracks on their repetition. – You get an early warning of problems in IT work?before the budget or schedule fall apart. – Management tends to have more realistic expectations with an awareness of issues. – Users and managers have greater confidence in IT due to the improved handling of issues. – Since the number of issues tends to stabilize in an organization, the IT organization and management get better at detecting, preventing, and dealing with issues over time?cumulative improvement. – Giving attention to issues make users more realistic in their requests and acts to deter requirement changes and scope creep.


Table of Contents

Preface Part 1: Issues and Risk Management 1. Introduction Common IT related problems Why IT efforts fail IT Differs from Other Types of Business Work How IT and the business have changed IT and politics The management view of IT Issues and risk Types of issues The life cycle of an issue Some common problems in issues management Issues across projects Problems versus opportunities The goals of IT Process improvement and reengineering The general approach to issues and risk management The organization of the book Conclusions 2. Effective Issues Management and Coordination Introduction General management of issues The issues databases Getting started Defining issues at the start of projects and work Tracking of issues and risk User and vendor issue coordination Issue and risk communications and reporting Handling issues within the IT organization Decision making and followup Dealing with multiple issues Coping with recurring issues Conclusions 3. Analysis and Measurements of Issues and Risk Introduction Problems with standard measurements The management critical path Multiple project analysis Tracking status using issues and risk Total issues Open issues Uncontrolled versus controlled open issues Aging of open issues Average time to resolve issues Distribution of open issues by type Issues by type over time Selection of issues for decisions and actions Perspective on different issues Project evaluation Project termination Conclusions Part 2: Internal Issues and Risk 4. Teams Introduction There is a lack of teamwork Team members or departments do not get along with each other Some team members are difficult to manage There is a wide range of experience and knowledge among team members The project or work leader is junior and lacks experience There is substantial turnover among team members There is a lack of motivation There is not much communications among team members and outside of the team A new team member has to be socialized into the group Team member performance does not seem to improve over time Too much time is spent in meetings Conclusions 5. The Work Introduction There are limited or no guidelines for using methods and tools There are tools used with no structured methods There is a lack of formal reviews of work and too much to review The methods are too informal Reporting on the work is faulty There is a lack of planning for the work There is no gathering of experience from performing the work There is a new tool to be introduced The same mistakes in the work seem to be repeated People work in a single tasking mode Conclusions 6. Business Units Introduction Users resist change Users want the technology but do not want to change The business processes have too many exceptions There are many shadow systems in the business units There are many variations of the same process in use It is difficult to get qualified users to join the effort Users do not want to assume responsibility Users do not resolve issues quickly or adequately Users dictate solutions User management is attempting to manipulate IT to gain more power Users change requirements frequently Users are unwilling to signoff Conclusions 7. Management Introduction Management has unrealistic expectations of benefits and impacts There are no clear goals Management changes direction frequently Decisions are made without the advice or involvement of the IT managers There is substantial management turnover Management pulls resources from some IT work and reassigns the resources Management attempts to micromanage the work Management shows no interest in IT matters Management fails to resolve issues There is no strategic IT plan There is a lack of alignment of IT to the business Conclusions 8. Projects Introduction Some projects do not seem to start out right There are too many surprises in the project There is much unplanned work in the project It is very difficult to manage and track multiple projects Too much time is consumed in project administration Some project leaders lack skills and knowledge There is no standard project reporting Small projects are not treated as projects Larger projects are divided up in the wrong way There are too many projects You do not know what is going on in the project Conclusions 9. Resistance to Change Introduction The change does not fit our work We have tried similar things before and they did not work There is no incentive for me to change All the change means is more work for the same compensation There are no available resources or time to support the change The technology or change is too complicated I will lose my job What we have done in the past worked well, why change You cannot teach an old dog new tricks The change is too risky No one will take responsibility if the change does not work Conclusions Part 3: External Issues and Risks 10. Vendors, Consultants, and Outsourcing Introduction The vendor performance is not adequate Vendor staff do not share information Vendors use their own proprietary methods and tools Vendors agree but then do something different There is substantial vendor staff turnover Vendor communications are not structured The vendor was politically selected by management The vendor does not resolve issues The leader of the vendor team miscommunicates to vendor staff The vendor overpromises Vendor staff are thinly spread over multiple clients The vendor staff are not highly qualified Conclusions 11. Headquarters Introduction Headquarters dictates a solution There is no allowance for resource needs at the local level Headquarters attempts to micromanage the work in the business unit There is a lack of understanding of the cultural and political differences between locations There are poor communications between the business unit and headquarters Headquarters people turn over and change too often Headquarters changes direction often during implementation Headquarters is not flexible in the general implementation of the work Headquarters provides no direction for the work Headquarters does not provide the necessary funding Issues and questions raised with headquarters are not addressed Conclusions 12. Technology Introduction Technology vendors are merging and combining There is a lack of integration with the technology There is no time to adequately learn the new technology The benefits of the new technology are not clear A decision is needed as to whether to adopt a new technology The technologies in use and of potential use are not compatible The technology raises privacy concerns The new technology is only an incremental improvement There is a wide range of potential technology solutions The vendor is forcing an upgrade There is a lack of standards in the technology The technology is changing too slowly or too rapidly Conclusions Part 4: Issues and Risks in Specific IT Activities 13. IT Strategic Planning Introduction There is no management interest after the plan is approved Linking IT planning factors to the business is difficult There are high management expectations of the planning effort There is no defined business vision or mission It is difficult to show the benefits of technology projects in the plan There are limited or no resources to do the planning Past planning efforts have failed Should the IT plan be business or IT driven? Business is not clear about what they would get from the plan There is a challenge in turning action items in the plan into actions Conclusions 14. Analysis Introduction There are incomplete requirements There is inadequate time to gather requirements Users lack knowledge of their own processes Users are not creative in developing solutions The benefits of the work are fuzzy and unclear There is no real overall measurement of the process The analysis methods are overly formal and not scalable The original stated problem is not the real problem The real problems are political and not technical There is no real downside if the project is not done Conclusions 15. Software Packages Introduction No software package fits the requirements There is a lack of vendor support in the client location The software has had no new releases in some time A decision needs to be made on whether to move to a new release There is a lack of support for the product from the vendor The software package vendor was acquired by another firm The marketing people promised features and functions that are not there Documentation of the product is not adequate There is a lack of qualified training in the use of the package The package has very limited flexibility There are substantial hidden costs to the software package Conclusions 16. Development Introduction There is excessive reliance on one person A key person leaves Development is performed ad hoc without adequate design There is a lack of emphasis on testing There are inadequate tools Developers do not share knowledge There is a lack of in-depth review of work Users contact programmers directly on a regular basis There is a lack of teamwork among developers Developers cannot agree on the details of the technical approach There are few guidelines for doing the work There is a lack of using past knowledge and experience Developers are concentrating on the easy parts first Conclusions 17. Implementation Introduction Users refuse to accept responsibility Users are not available to participate in the implementation There are last minute requirement changes There are lingering issues Issues that were resolved become unresolved Training of users is not complete or suitable Users resist change during the implementation Users continue to work with the old system There are problems with the data discovered during data conversion User management is unwilling to enforce turnover to the new process There is inadequate user testing Conclusions 18. Operations and Support Introduction Many of the IT staff members prefer operations support to projects There is too much emergency work Some staff use maintenance as a chance to redevelop software There is an overly cozy relationship between some IT managers and staff and users Support requirements are too specialized There is a lack of measurement of support and maintenance There is no differentiation between maintenance and enhancement How Should Operations and Maintenance be Managed? Conclusions Appendices: A. The Results of a Survey on IT Issues B. The Magic Cross Reference C. Web Sites D. References E. Index