How to Improve IT Project Delivery Performance that is Valued, Timely and High-quality
IT project delivery, especially for the large projects, often costs more than projected. In fact, a McKinsey-Oxford study on reference-class forecasting for IT projects showed 45% of the IT projects, in which software accounted for 66%, suffered from cost overrun. It also revealed 4 groups of issues identified by IT executives that cause most IT project failures as below:
- Missing focus (unclear objectives and lack of business focus) – 13%
- Content issues (shifting requirements and technical complexity) – 9%
- Skills issues (unaligned team and lack of skills) – 6%
- Execution issues (unrealistic schedule and reactive planning) – 11%
- Unexplained causes – 6%
It’s noticeable that the first two groups of issues typically cause half of all the over costs while the next two account for another 40% of the overspending. Therefore, in order to avoid these unexpected circumstances, it’s essential for companies to understand key dimensions overarching a project success and the success factors within each of them, summarized in the table below:
Explaining ways to improve IT project delivery performance
1. Managing strategy and stakeholders
One of the top mistakes that IT initiatives too often make is the very little attention to strategy and stakeholders but purely budget and schedule. One typical case is that all IT products are created according to business requirements but the business forces often join in just a few beginning of the projects. Later on when trendy shifts or complex changes often come too late that lead to delays and overspendings. Top-performing projects, on the other hand, can avoid the same mistake by establishing a clear view of business case and strategic value, and maintain a focus on business objectives over the whole IT project delivery timeline.
Good stakeholder management also involves finding and selecting IT vendors when the project is expanding. Company IT leaders should be able to proactively identify potential risks when finding an outsourced IT service provider, for instance, to seek for a “win-win” agreement instead of only focusing on the price. Doing so also helps companies access to the vendor’s best talent in an extended period of time.
2. Mastering technologies in the right context
The right project management team should understand both business and technical concerns, which is why a few professional and experienced business experts must be assigned to the length of the project as mentioned above. In terms of technical concerns, it’s important to draw on talent as needed; high-performing teams cover all aspects of the project, including IT architecture and infrastructure, development, quality assurance, migration and so on.
3. Building effective teams with proven capabilities
Building effective IT teams with proven capabilities is key to have successful projects. In order to operate effectively, it’s compulsory for project teams to have a common goal, a clear vision, shared processes and a high-performing culture. There should also be an incentive structure that is aligned with the overall project goal, but suitable with different responsibilities of different positions. This can help to encourage more dedicated individuals, more solid teams and better outcomes as a result. Integrated business and IT teams should have more – value and delivery targets, and a shared management process for changes to make sure communications are clear, timely and precise.
4. Excelling at project-management practices
In order to achieve effective IT project delivery, it is essential for companies to have a right, tested methodology and practices. However, a modern project management is no longer either “waterfall” or “Agile” or any of other linear approaches but a good flexible mix as long as it fits your own business and product roadmap. No matter what you name your practice, it demands to have a strategic and disciplined project management team, and a clear, strict process to control technical requirements and changes. Also, shorter cycles of delivery should be established to avoid effort waste in the development process and more adaptive to changes.
A SaaS company, for example, created an integrated business and IT teams that worked on an end-to-end basis of the project and defined a master plan of a clear product roadmap (including core and flexible aspects). In their daily practices, they established a list of quality criteria that requests their IT teams to divide all activities in shorter cycles of less than 4 weeks and achieve qualified viable minimal products at the end of each cycle. The team will then review and make appropriate changes when necessary in the flexible before starting a new cycle.
Many IT projects are prone to take too long, more expensive than expected, crucially poor in delivery quality; some can’t even come to a finish. It’s not necessary to be your case. By mastering key dimensions of a successful project management that align IT and business forces joined in a shared goal and commitment towards values delivered, companies can overcome the odds and achieve expected outcomes.
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In IT project delivery, we put our greatest efforts on defining your requirements and expectations. It’s mandatory that the client product owner or company takes full ownership of requirement specifications. Also, it’s also recommended that clients should engage with the teams on a daily basis or sufficiently. We have observed client commitment and daily interaction are critical success factors when it comes to project delivery.
We’re experienced and applicable to various working methodologies that the clients prefer to manage the IT development projects from start to finish, ensuring best performance and transparent communication. Our Project Managers/ Scrum Masters guide the teams and support the clients during the whole project development process.
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- Fast access to a huge talent pool of top digital talent in Vietnam
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fram^ is a Swedish-Vietnamese software development company that builds products, teams and managed services of top IT talent in Vietnam. Generally, we try to hire good team-players with the right attitude and approach. We have always been REMOTE BY DESIGN in our Managed IT Services, delivering best performance and giving access to a global talent pool. Contact us and scale your project with a dedicated offshore development team!