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Project Management and Its Impact on IT Project Success

~ By Claudia Vandermilt

Senior lecturer in front of his class

When dealing with IT projects, using specialised project management techniques will be very beneficial to your ongoing progress leading to a much higher success rate in the long run. Planning and carrying out IT projects can be tricky for a variety of reasons, making the ability to complete them successfully a very valuable asset to any employer.

Some Common Information Technology Project Management Complications

The difficulty of IT project management is reflected in the relatively high rate of failure for information technology projects. In fact, a 2009 report published by The Standish Group indicates that only 32% of the information technology projects undertaken by companies were considered successful.

Nearly one-quarter of all IT projects failed, while 44% were considered "challenged," meaning that they were late, over budget or did not meet all of the project requirements.1 With that kind of failure rate, it's easy to see why special IT project management skills and knowledge may be necessary to keep projects on track.

In general, projects fail for several reasons. For instance, a project may fail due to poor planning, unchecked scope creep or unrealistic timeframe. While these are common issues in all types of project failure, the nature of technology projects makes these particular types of situations more likely to develop.

Among the factors contributing to IT project failures:

  • Lack of professionals with specialised IT project management experience;
  • Complications due to incompatible technology or malfunctioning hardware;
  • General lack of understanding about the specific challenges of information technology projects by those in charge of their planning.

Improve IT Project Success Rates with Project Management Training

While there are specific challenges to overcome when dealing with information technology project management, completing some formal training in the field can lead to a greater understanding of how to address these issues and circumvent problems. By enrolling in project management training courses specifically for information technology, you can learn how to apply proven strategies to IT projects in order to improve outcomes and generate more efficient processes.

Techniques like creating uniform metrics for measuring project performance and standardising the language used to describe them are some basic concepts in project management that can greatly improve information technology project outcomes. Keeping close track of timelines and project costs and managing project scope are all vital when you're trying to ensure an information technology project stays on track.

1 Levinson, Meridith. "Recession Causes Rising IT Project Failure Rates." CIO, June 18, 2009.

Claudia Vandermilt, a skilled project manager, studied with Villanova. For additional articles visit the executive training resources page on Villanova University online.


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