The main idea of the text is the major cause behind the increased failing of information technology projects. The writer, herein called Levinson, explored the results of a report conducted by a US-based research and consultancy firm which had surveyed projects in 400 firms (1). The results had shown a decreasing trend in completed IT projects. The results of this specific article were focused on an increasing failure rate during the years 2006 to 2008. According to the writer, the performance of IT projects had kept on varying between the years. For instance, the period 1994-2000 had seen the performance record a positive or successful rate, followed by a negative performance rating from 2000 to 2002. This had then been succeeded by a positive performance rate that saw success rise steadily to the year 2006.
The main reason for project failure was named as the weakening of the economy as a result of the slowdown in economic activities. This process is commonly called globalisation or recession. According to Levinson, the start of the recession period in the year 2007 led to a reduction in IT budgets (2). While quoting the sayings of the chairman of the research and consultancy firm, the writer said that the above subsequently led to more project managers amassing more political power confidence in cancelling the projects. In a nutshell, therefore, the results by The Standish Group revealed that that the weakening of the economy starting in the year 2007 had negatively impacted the functioning of project stages by introducing several inhibiting factors. These eventually led to cancellation and failure of various projects.
Yes, I agree that too much governance and control can produce project failure. This is so since as the writer stated, too much governance and compliance were found to establish additional layers acting as inhibiting factors (in this case what the writer calls the additional layers of red tape) in project stages. The audit and scrutiny stages, therefore, reduce the speed at which project stages are required to move forward to achieve business value. The result will see the project waste too much time than it was previously allocated. This renders it irrelevant to its stakeholders who eventually decide to stop or even cancel the whole project. Furthering on this, it has been established that too much governance and compliance are likely to lead to ineffective management. Here, the project managers are likely to resist giving attention to the changing project goals, risks and objectives. These can also result in project failure. An example of this would be a scenario where a finance manager fails to approve the purchase of project equipment on the pretext that the buying price exceeds the earlier projected price. Failure to adjust to this changed business requirements may ground other project activities.
By Jim Johnson stating that ‘cancelling a project because funding has dried up or is limited is not necessarily a bad thing,’ he means that with reduced or no project funding, it is highly likely that the number of project workers will be laid-off. This would make it hard for the remaining few workers to handle the increased tasks. The shortage of financial support is therefore considered as good for some project since it would trigger the choice of selecting one of the ‘best decisions’ of cancelling the project due to overworking as opposed to leaving a project to proceed and reach its conclusion stage where it will eventually be graded under failed projects. Without the shortage of funds, a project might not run smoothly to its conclusion stage hence being categorised under failed projects.
Levinson, Meridith. “Recession Causes Rising IT Project Failure Rates.” The CIO Leadership Event, Web.