The comparison with projects in other industries shows that IT projects are increasingly failing and are being cancelled. Or they end, but are over deadline or budget. According to an international study by the Standish Group, representatives of large companies in DACH, UK and North America stated that 84% of the projects would not be completed or fail in line with deadlines or budgets. Of these 84%, 53% are over the given time and budget or do not include all promised functionalities. 31% of projects either fail or are no longer pursued. Only 16% of all projects were delivered as promised.
This phenomenon can also be observed in the Federal Government. The SAP system, which is currently in use, must be replaced by 2025. In mid-2017, the Federal Council discussed continuing to rely on SAP, but to migrate the system to the new version “S/4 Hana”. By the first half of 2018, the Department of Finance should have received the message for the project. But due to the complexity and the questions of the various federal offices, there was a delay. The embassy was postponed for a year. One of the reasons for this was the fundamental question – is it about pure software migration or the unification of data and processes? As the example of the federal government shows, IT projects are defined with the knowledge of a certain time. This knowledge changes in the course of the project, as well as the technology available.
Our assessment of why projects are delayed, cost-increased or of reduced quality:
1. A project is considered static – replacing software A with software B.
Processes and data are not checked separately and the acceptance of time, quality and budget is only made on the replacement of software A with software B.
2. Stakeholders are under-involved
Stakeholders are under-involved to specify requirements and perform acceptance testing
3. New technologies
New technologies in the course of the project will no longer be taken into account. For example, BlackBerry introduction is currently when users switched to iPhone.
4. No continuous improvement or insufficient “continuous improvement”
There are no plans for continuous improvements to processes, data structures, and the application.
5. Lack of expert judgement
Lack of expert judgement when creating requirements, schedule, and risk management. The unexpected is therefore not planned enough.
In order to successfully complete projects, we are increasingly focusing on the following points:
- A clean preliminary study to properly assess the situation and existing processes and dependencies
- Communication and “stakeholder engagement” is the key
- Focus on quality – prefer to take into account an iteration testing more and the feedback of the stakeholders
- Continuous reviews and adjustments to the plan to meet all circumstances and technical requirements