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The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management, 4th Edition by Eric Verzuh

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CHAPTER 17

Information Technology Project Success Factors

INTRODUCTION

Information technology has transformed the economy and the way we work. Sixty years of technological leaps have created new industries and destroyed others, and still we seem to have merely reached the threshold of the new age. Information technology (IT) demands constant investment and constant advancement; few modern organizations can afford to fall out of sync with the most current software, hardware, networks, and telecommunication systems. With the enormous sums of money spent on this project-driven industry that draws many of the brightest members of the workforce, it makes sense that IT and excellence in project management would be synonymous.

That is generally not the case.

Instead, we find that industry surveys consistently produce staggering estimates of “failed IT projects.” Depending on the criteria, failure rates range from 40 percent to 70 percent. These projects are over budget and behind schedule, and do not meet customer objectives.

Are IT projects really so different? Are they immune to the proven project management techniques found throughout this book? Yes, IT projects really are different, but they can also be managed to an acceptable rate of failure. This chapter presents the factors that create the greatest challenges for IT projects and the current best practices for increasing their success rate, including an introduction to one of the newest developments, agile software development. ...

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