Understanding Planned Change:  What Not to Do and Why

            Every IT project calls for the performance of particular activities if success is needed. A number of things must be done for an IT project to be successful. Past IT projects help identify what one should do and not do in the execution of an IT project for it to be successful. IT projects performed earlier show that some actions and activities always result to failure when executed in a project. An evaluation of past projects help illustrate some of the factors which result to the failure of a given project. Most of the factors interact and interlink with each other resulting to failure. This essay aims to illustrate what one should not do in the execution of an IT project and discuss the reasons why.

Past IT projects show that one should not engage in a project that calls for a higher level of qualification and experience than what one possesses. Likewise, one should engage in an IT project that requires an approach in which one has no knowledge of or is not effectively conversant. Past projects show that when one engages in projects that require a high skill level than what one possesses, the result is usually a failure in the project. In the execution of the IT project, roles and duties should be assigned based on the level of qualification and experience to avoid failure. In the article “IT projects: A Basis for Success, Wateridge states that one should first study the requirements of the IT project and evaluate his abilities. This will help determine whether one has the capacity to execute the given project (Wateridge, 2005). However, if circumstances allow, one can obtain the skills needed to enable him engage in the project.

In the progress, the individual executing the project should not carry it out on his own without engaging the necessary stakeholders. Failure to include the involved stakeholders or users usually results to a failure of the project. In the article “What went wrong? Unsuccessful information technology projects”, Whittaker confirms this by stating that engaging the stakeholders enhances their commitment to a project from its start to end. Every IT project calls for time and effort, which can only be guaranteed by engaging the stakeholders. One should not fail to engage the stakeholders in the project to ensure that it becomes their priority, helping limit the projects failure.

One should not use approaches and methods one is not used to nor has no experience in, while implementing the IT project. In the article “IT projects: A Basis for Success,” Wateridge confirms this by stating that in the implementation and management of an IT project, one of the major causes of failure of IT projects is the use of approaches, methods and systems in which one has no experience. Therefore, when unexpected changes and alterations that negatively affect the project occur in the execution process, one lacks ideas and measures that can be used to remedy the negative changes and occurrences. At times, the changes and occurrences may be severe leading to the failure and collapse of the IT project.

Finally, one should not engage in an IT project before breaking down the development and implementation process into measurable and controllable steps. Failure to do these limits the ability of the persons executing the project to analyze, detect and limit harmful occurrences that may lead to the project’s failure. Another thing that one should not do is perform an IT project without engaging, understanding and establishing contacts with the industry or person supplying the instruments needed in the IT project. The contacts help one get advice when necessary from the suppliers limiting failure. In addition, one should not limit the integration between the clients of the projects, the team supplying resources for the project and the persons executing the project. This is because the integration helps develop teamwork and provide an avenue for the exchange of ideas limiting failure (Mähring, 2002).

There are many things that one should do in the execution and implementation of an IT project. Although the above factors are not the only ones that lead to the failure of a project, past IT projects illustrate that they are the most common. Past projects indicate that the above factors that often result to failure are integrated and interlinked. Therefore, avoiding one factor indirectly helps avoid a few others. Past projects also indicate that to ensure success of an IT project, it is always advisable to treat them as a business projects.


Mähring, M. (2002). IT Project Governance. Santa Clara, CA: EFI at SSE.

Wateridge, J. (2005). “IT projects: a basis for success.” International Journal of Project Management 13 (3), 169-172.

Whittaker, B. (2009). “What went wrong? Unsuccessful information technology projects.” Industrial Management & Data Systems 7, (1) 23-30

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