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Why IT Projects Fail? A Practical Risk Management approach to avoiding the most common mistakes

Robert Hooper (g9062690)


Dissertation Brief and Subject Choice •

“68% of Projects were either challenged or failed”

Failings are operational rather than technical

There are numerous methodologies that are widely used and acknowledged despite this there are still high levels of failure.

A staged Checklist would provide the solution


Research Process Both Primary and Secondary research was carried out: •

Primary Research - Phone Interviews

Secondary Research - Books, Online Journals, Blogs, Websites


People Involved Various organisations: •

Large Multinational Project based staff with multi-million dollar projects.

Smaller Project based staff

Both public and private sector staff and ranging levels of experience.


Choice of Artefact • Simple, Powerful, Easy-to-use tool that helps identify and analyse risk. • Cost efficient means of integrating risk management • Allows Project Managers to combine theory with practical knowledge of projects and project environments • Universal application for use in a global market


Innovative Nature •

Checklist targets both Small-Scale and Large-Scale Projects and distinguishes between them.


New insight, emphasis on chronologically format particularly weighted on the concept and planning stages.


Measuring Risk •

Risk Exposure = Risk Severity x Risk Probability (Boehm, 1991)


Commonly used method of calculating the impact of risks within an organisation


Project Conclusions •

The checklist can aid Project Managers by building on others knowledge and thereby giving them confidence in the methods


Project Manager is not confined to the traditional descriptions but rather has an imprecise role within an organisation.


Aftermath… Some feedback from participants: “I would use your document as a reference/guide during a project, especially during the PID (Project Initiation Documentation) element. It would very much help with resourcing and Senior Management 'buy in'.” “Regarding the checklist, I think it’s a good start to have something that PMs can refer to on a day-to-day basis. It would be prudent to have some form of governance overseeing the use of the checklist. It would be good to see the Programme Management Office overseeing this or have some extra columns/sign off sheets that each department can endorse to prove they are happy with the results.” “I would consider using it but perhaps only in projects where I am vastly outnumbered by the stakeholders involved with the projects AND especially projects where the stakeholders have different needs or uses for the project I'm working on. Thus having a centralised checklist would help me to ensure that not only are all of the risks identified and sorted by likelihood of occurrence but I can also show all the stakeholders what efforts I've taken to minimise the risks and how/who will deal with them should they occur.”


Thank you for your time Questions?



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