Why Do IT Projects Fail or Succeed?
A variety of reasons for IT project failure have been identified through discussions with experienced CTOs, consultants, and project managers. When you take a step back from the individual examples, you'll notice some similar features. A handful are self-evident, while others are less well-known.
Goals that Perplex You
Many huge undertakings fail because their objectives are unclear. There is no precise problem definition for which the team will solve or provide alternatives, no clarity about requirements, and no understanding of the project's complete scope. One CEO has a goal, but as the project progresses, more individuals are brought in, such as other executives, risk managers, and architects, each with their own thoughts about what would be best. As a result, ambiguous goals, growing project scope, and inadequate project design emerge, resulting in never-ending disputes and slipping timeframes.
Internal project champions and salespeople alike want their idea to succeed. However, in their eagerness to ‘sell,' they frequently underestimate costs and exaggerate benefits. When building business cases, it's common to want to increase benefits while lowering expenses in order to get the best return on investment (ROI). This underestimation isn't always deliberate; it can be the result of the CIO's lack of grasp of the existing situation and requirements. The CIO does not analyse or pay for efforts to transition from establishing a system to actually realising its benefits (new products, customers, capability).
Overconfidence leads to unrealistic schedules. There is a lot of irrational faith in technology (product, vendor, or internal capability). The difficulty of the solution is also not assessed.
Because of new technology, numerous interfaces with other systems, and data conversion, or because project teams must compete for resources with other projects, major IT projects have a high degree of complexity. In addition, legacy processes must be reproduced or supported in the new system, adding to the complexity.
What project managers (PMs) and executives don't realise is that as projects become more complicated, the dangers and effort required rise. As individuals strive to accommodate this complexity in a short timescale and with workarounds, systems and procedures become fragile. The PMs and their teams are finally overwhelmed by the complexity. As a result, tasks become unmanageable.
Lack of “Ownership”
As stakeholders in large projects, there are frequently numerous executives, each with slightly distinct agendas. The executives have differing views on the project's benefits and options, which can be irreconcilable at times. Many projects lack an effective sponsor who is accountable for project goals and benefits and who can arbitrate conflicting demands. None of the executives fully support the project, and many projects lack an effective sponsor who is accountable for project goals and benefits and who can arbitrate conflicting demands.
Weak sponsorship also implies a lack of project responsibility. When deadlines are missed, projects are not done, and barriers arise, no one is held responsible. The project becomes unmanageable as a result of this. Weak ownership frequently leads to inadequate project control, which increases the risk of project failure.
People acknowledge that poor governance is a key cause of project failure. Most major initiatives, on the other hand, have the exact opposite problem: too much bureaucracy. Non-productive costs and red tape accounted for 80% of the anticipated costs. A three-day change request might require justification papers and approval from the executive steering committee, which could take more than ten days.
Stakeholders such as risk managers, compliance workers, methodology specialists, and architects all have their own governance requirements in large enterprises, which puts a lot of pressure on project teams.
Thinking that is overly complex
Project management has recently succumbed to the current habit of prioritising form above substance. Regarding this over-engineering, here's a comment from a CIO:
“Previously, we would spend time figuring out how to tackle a problem. We looked at numerous approaches, different ways to achieve a goal, and we focused on the customer's requirements and expectations. We concentrated on the task at hand.”
Nowadays, it appears that the emphasis is on planning how to achieve it, as well as a willingness to follow processes and standards. As a result, we spend more time designing the project's process and approach than we do working on the solution's technical needs and delivery options. The amount of documentation available has grown significantly. We now have the strategy, as well as risk analyses, process flows, summary deadlines, and a slew of paperwork detailing who did what, when, and with whom.
This results in a considerably higher number of formally documented meetings, necessitating the hiring of a new breed of project administrators to handle documentation and plan meetings, adding time and cost to the project. A second consequence is that, in addition to doing the task, workers now have a slew of documents to fill out.
The Factor of Management
The project manager is a critical success component for any project, big or little (PM). It's one thing to get certified as a project manager; it's quite another to have the ability and know-how. The PM must be able to balance the project's requirements with those of good governance. The PM must employ the proper methodology, apply it at the appropriate time, and in the quantities required.
A PM must also be knowledgeable about the issue. The idea that a qualified project manager can handle any type or size of project is nonsense.
Another thing to keep in mind is that projects do not move from well-managed, on-budget, and on-time to outright disaster overnight. There is usually a period of transition when the project is “troubled.”
You have a window of time to save the project if you can cut through the noise to see the real difficulties. Because everyone involved in a project wants it to succeed, they may unwittingly ignore or reject warning indications. Using the "helicopter" view, try to spot risk on your own. If you still can't figure out what's wrong but suspect something's wrong, enlisting the expertise of external reviewers to see early warning signals and assist the sponsor in taking decisive action can frequently save a difficult project.
Act Small, Think Big
Large IT projects fail for a variety of reasons, and while there are a number of strategies to avoid them, there is one last point worth highlighting.
According to the Standish Group's research, smaller initiatives (whether Agile or Waterfall) have a substantially greater success rate (76%) than larger projects (10 percent). Many experts in the industry agree that giving a product in modest dosages yields beneficial benefits.
You can imagine big, but you must act little by breaking down each large effort into smaller initiatives.
Definition of a Successful Initial Coin Offering
With dozens of new cryptocurrencies being launched every day, some will explode like Bitcoin, but the great majority will flop, crash, and burn.
Is there, then, a secret to ICO success? There are many methods to measure "success," but we've arranged this list in ascending order of worth (statistics accurate at time of writing).
Let's take a look at the most successful ICOs of all time to discover how the crypto industry's biggest names are positioning themselves for success.
In the cryptocurrency world, initial coin offerings (ICOs) are the newest trend. Every week, dozens of new titles are released, adding to the hundreds currently available. The majority of these ICOs can be found simply searching an online ICO calendar. It can be difficult to sort through all of the new releases. As a result, we've organised our calendar so that you can see forthcoming ICOs and ICOs that are about to expire. You may also look for ICOs according on their category.
If you're considering starting your own ICO, you're undoubtedly feeling a little scared by some of the competitors. Rest assured, however, that there are a few crucial criteria that contribute to the creation of a well-known ICO. Today, we'll look at what sets an ICO apart from the rest.
An initial coin offering, or ICO, is theoretically comparable to an initial public offering, or IPO. Investors pay a premium to be the first to own shares of a hot new token. Ideally, the coin will develop and prosper, making early token purchases substantially more profitable in the long run. Typically, investors pay in Bitcoin or Ethereum, two well-known cryptocurrencies. There are numerous advantages to ICOs. The fundraising procedure is light years ahead of traditional methods of gathering funds. This will allow the money to reach the development team as soon as possible, allowing them to get to work. But it's not all sunshine and roses; many initial coin offerings (ICOs) fail or are classified as scams.
1. While white papers are useful, a working product is preferable.
Our first (and possibly most crucial) element is the easiest approach to avoid being dubbed a scammy ICO. Have a finished product! The easiest part is coming up with a money notion, much like anyone can come up with a great software idea. A decent white paper can be extremely beneficial to investors, but having a working product (even if it isn't flawless) gives a coin a lot more credibility. A team with no prototype would never collect tens of millions of dollars in hours in the real world. Just because cryptocurrency is still in its infancy does not negate the importance of due research.
However, the reverse situation may occur: an idea that is wonderful from a technical standpoint, but the team is unable to provide it to the community from a business standpoint.
2. It's Crucial to Be Transparent
Transparency is the second key to a successful ICO. Over the internet, investors pump money into businesses with no track record, to a team they've never met. Cryptocurrencies do not host press conferences or publish financial reports. It's easy to see why token holders could be nervous. A lot of actions are taken by successful ICO teams. They have a lot of interaction with the community. They offer updates on the coin's Reddit or via Slack or Telegram. Some meetings are being streamed live. Others make code samples available on their websites or on GitHub. This has been done by Bancor, and StorJ's code is open-source. Because cryptocurrencies can't be held in one's hands, being able to examine a coin's code is a fantastic approach to reassure investors.
3. Make a financial plan
A third key is also connected to transparency, but it is significant enough to be mentioned individually. Make a financial strategy. Make it public as well. Some of the better white papers I've seen include detailed, step-by-step strategies for how ICO cash would be used. A spending plan allows an investor to see exactly where their money is going and what the project should look like by particular dates. This is especially useful for uncapped ICOs that raise more money than expected, as we'll discuss later.
The ideal solution is to offer precise data for token distribution and subsequent fund utilisation.
4. Marketing Ingenuity Is Necessary
Marketing is a fourth pillar. It may seem self-evident, but with the enormous amount of coins in circulation, the world isn't going to rush to your aid. TenX made excellent use of a YouTube channel. The team shared footage of themselves using the gadget in regular situations, such as ordering pizza or getting a cup of coffee. This gives investors a sense of how the product will perform in the actual world. Other businesses have used Reddit, Facebook, and even Tinder to advertise. It's too early to say if those specific channels will be successful, but the company needs to get the word out. NXT is an example of a failed initial coin offering (ICO) owing to bad marketing. NXT's first ICO took place in 2013, when an anonymous person posted a Bitcoin address in a forum asking for donations. Surprisingly, it did not set the world ablaze. Only $6,000 was raised by the squad. NXT, on the other hand, is an intriguing platform with numerous real-world applications. It's a shame to see a fantastic concept fall short of its full potential due to a preventable marketing blunder. With scammers lurking around every corner and currency exploding on a daily basis, it's critical for a team to market itself effectively.
5. Name Power Is Beneficial
Finally, there's the issue of name power. To accomplish the grunt work of developing a currency, you'll need a solid team with suitable professional experience. Big-name backers and consultants, on the other hand, have a lot of clout with investors. Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum creator, is listed as an investor on TenX. Bancor bragged that one of the Euro's founders, Bernard Lietaer, was on their team. Because the bitcoin industry is still in its infancy, having proven specialists on board is a significant plus. They must, however, be actively involved. Vitalik is listed as an investor on TenX, however he stated in an interview that he has not directly invested in the enterprise. A celebrity's endorsement of a product does not imply that they utilise it.
6. Be certain about your Hard Cap decision.
On that point, we'll turn our attention to the darker side of why certain ICOs raise so much cash. They don't have a cap on them. Only a specific quantity of Bitcoin or Ethereum is accepted in a capped ICO. Uncapped ICOs swing for the fences, taking whatever they can get. On the surface, this appears to be a positive problem. The team now has more funds to work with, and more investors now have access to the coin they desire. Bancor is a good example; the team ran their ICO for longer than expected, netting an additional $51,000,000.
However, if a team sets a hard cap and subsequently changes it, early investors may find their currency devalued. This is a typical criticism among those who invested in initial coin offerings (ICOs) that raised more money than expected. Uncapped ICOs, on the other hand, are a simple way for teams to defraud investors. Because cryptocurrencies aren't audited, a group may quickly grab some of the funds without anyone noticing. Alternatively, they might just alter the amount of currency withheld. Another reason, as we mentioned before, teams should reveal plans for how the money will be spent. A sum of $200 million can put many excellent people's principles to the test. Tezos, Bancor, and a number of other major ICOs had no cap. Although the stats are impressive, uncapped ICOs are a mixed blessing.
2017's Most Successful Initial Coin Offerings
Filecoin $257 million
Filecoin is a decentralised data storage network based on the blockchain. It's a project that allows Blockchain users to contribute their servers and storage space. You gain Filecoins and a reward if you let someone save their data on your server or computer. From August 10 to September 10, this project raised $257 million, split into a $52 million presale and $205.8 million in the second round. The project's designers did not sell the tokens directly, but instead made agreements on future tokens, with owners assured to get tokens in the future. $135 million was raised in the first hour of the ICO. Dollars, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Zcash were used to raise the funding.
Tezos $232 million
Tezos is a smart contract blockchain platform. The Tezos project runs on a new blockchain and has the flexibility to upgrade its code in the future, allowing it to adapt to new developments. In July, $232 million was raised for the project. Regardless, their position as the largest ICO didn't last long. The platform began with a record-breaking initial coin offering (ICO), but ultimately ended in lawsuits and conflicts. There were numerous arguments within the team, which resulted in a collective lawsuit alleging fraud and demanding the cash be returned.
EOS $700 million
EOS is a platform that allows decentralised apps to be developed and tested in a public setting. People will be able to make many transactions per second as a result of the project, making blockchain projects more effective. This project's ICO raised $700 million, according to reports. Their token sale will run through the middle of 2018, and their crowdsale will continue till then. Their proposal has sparked a lot of attention, and their initial coin offering (ICO) has already been a success. Although their ICO was held on the Ethereum blockchain, it was dubbed a competitor to Ethereum.