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Project Management and ITIL – IT Project Failures (#5 in the series Implementing ITIL® using the PMBOK® Guide in Four Repeatable Steps)
By Lawrence Cooper, PMP, CPM, ITIL Service Manager

Anyone who has ever worked on a very large IT project likely has experiences with massive project failure. Some of the more common causes are listed below:

  • Project timelines beyond 6–12 months generally result in a project going over budget and failure to deliver on the promised benefits—detailed project planning is hard to do beyond 6 months
  • Failed projects usually suffer from a lack of focus and momentum after about the 5-6 month mark
  • Poorly defined scope (and requirements) and scope creep because of unclear goals objectives
  • No change control system to handle scope changes
  • Lack of executive commitment and user interest due to the long timelines involved
  • Failure to communicate and act as a team
  • The wrong skills or not enough of the right skills

These project failures continue to this day because organizations fail to heed the lessons they should have learned by now. A project to implement ITIL is subject to these same causes for project failure. In later articles, we will discuss how to implement ITIL to avoid these common project mistakes.

About the Author

Larry Cooper is the CEO of ITSM Canada, an Authorized itSM Solutions® provider and a VAR for Touchpaper’s ITBM Suite of products. Mr. Cooper has spent more than 28 years in IT in the public and private sectors where he has held roles such as a Software Developer/Programmer Analyst, Manager of Operations, Lead for Business Process Re-engineering, various Project Manger roles on projects upwards to $100M, and A/Director, Business Technology. He has written and been published in books and industry articles on a variety of technology, IT Service Management, and Project Management topics. He holds three project management certifications including a PMP, an IT Service Manager certification, and is an EXIN-accredited Master’s level trainer. He resides in Ottawa, Canada with his wife and two children. He can be reached at Larry.Cooper@ITSMCanada.ca.

This article was originally published in Global Knowledge’s Business Brief e-newsletter. Global Knowledge delivers comprehensive hands-on project management, business process, and professional skills training. Visit our online Knowledge Center at www.globalknowledge.com/business for free white papers, webinars, and more.

© Copyright 2008, Global Knowledge. All rights reserved.

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