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Senior Lecturer’s Expert Advice on IT Projects

  Apr 22, 2013

Dr Freddie Acosta, a Senior Lecturer of Information and Technology Management at Strathmore Business School has studied a number of IT projects implementation in Kenya for the past 5 years. It was revealed in his research that barely 45% of IT projects were successful or very successful. A good percentage (30%) experienced challenges and 25% failed completely. His findings also confirmed the factors identified by the Chaos Report (2004) of the Standish Groupas shown below:


Factors for challenged projects

Factors for impaired /failed projects

  • Lack of user input
  • Incomplete Requirements
  • Incomplete requirements
  • Lack of user support or buy-in
  • Changing requirements and specifications
  • Lack of resources
  • Lack of executive support
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Technology incompetence
  • Lack of executive support
  • Lack of resources
  • Changing requirements specifications
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of planning
  • Unclear objectives
  • Didn’t need it any longer
  • Unrealistic time frameworks
  • Lack of IT management
  • New technology
  • Technology illiteracy

When asked as to how to reduce risk of failure of IT projects, he recommends the following best practices:


  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities
    • Identify the key stakeholders
    • Define the roles and responsibilities of all parties e.g. project champion, project sponsor, project teams
    • Ensure the top management of the company is involved in the Enterprise project
    • Ensure that the CEO is  the project champion
  • User involvement
    • Identify all the needs of the end users and involve them in the project
    • Identify all the infrastructure, time, staff and funding and incorporate them into the project plan
    • Have regular project team meetings to share ideas and communicate frequently
  • Have realistic expectations of the technology involved in IT implementation
    • Let the consultants/vendor provide a clear statement of the requirements, that address the end-user needs and objectives
    • Use the proven project implementation methodologies
    • Use experienced consultants in the project implementation
  • Proper planning
    • Divide the IT project implementation into modules
    • Updating project plan regularly
    • Plan for a reasonable cutover period of at most 6 days

As a consultant, he suggests a few strategies on how to reduce time and cost of IT project implementations without compromising quality and specifications. When asked to further comment about it, he commented, ‘the obvious one isto adopt cloud computing and the less obvious one, an understanding of the economic theories of Information Technology.’


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