When disaster strikes in a multi-site IT infrastructure technology rollout, it is really easy for upper management to point fingers. “It was the technician’s fault,” or “It was lack of resources,” are knee jerk reactions that often get used as scapegoats by upper management. But what really causes IT infrastructure project failures?
Poor Project Planning Leads To IT Infrastructure Project Failure
The truth of the matter is, poor project management is the most common reason behind a poorly deployed technology rollout. Without proper systems and methodologies in place, the personal workload threshold of the project managers, project facilitators and field technicians will quickly be overloaded.
Here are some of the biggest reasons why technology rollouts fail:
Undefined risks can make roadblocks to your progress difficult to overcome. These can range in severity and, while not all of them will cause an outright project failure, they can certainly make getting to your goals that much harder.
Project goals that haven’t been fully hashed out can create complete misalignment with business goals. And a project that isn’t aligned with business goals is useless in the eyes of executive management, regardless of intentions.
Inadequate Cost Estimates
Every project manager knows how important budgeting is. Keeping to the budget is important to the success of any project; so it often comes as a surprise when a project grinds to a halt due to a need for more funding. It’s imperative that every cost is properly accounted for when planning out your project.
Inaccurate Time Estimates
We understand; timeliness is crucial. Every business wants a fast turnaround. But, underestimating how much time is required for a project rollout could be disastrous. There is nothing worse than going back to a client or executive sponsor and telling them it’s going to take more time than expected.
While this also plays a part in the pitfalls of poor planning, poor communication is a beast all of its own. Good communication is the single most important element of any successful project. That is, the ability to convey from start-to-finish the goals, plans, risks, issues, changes, etc. Not having that crucial piece is like throwing a dart in the dark. You will always hit something, but it may not necessarily be your target!
Finding the Right Person for the Job
The importance of having the right project manager for the job cannot be stressed enough. When you take all of the above into consideration, this is the individual who will make it all happen. The one with the know-how to make things run smoothly and address the issues that will inevitably come up in a timely manner. It should be noted that this person must be able to handle the time commitment as well, as many companies assign an internal resource only to find they have underestimated the time required.
For a detailed report on proper IT infrastructure project management, read The Ugly Truth Of IT Infrastructure Rollout Failure and Project Management