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Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Success and failure factors in ICT projects by Ir. Aart J. van Dijk EngD EMITA RE 8 September.

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Presentation on theme: "Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Success and failure factors in ICT projects by Ir. Aart J. van Dijk EngD EMITA RE 8 September."— Presentation transcript:

1 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Success and failure factors in ICT projects by Ir. Aart J. van Dijk EngD EMITA RE 8 September 2009 Nederlands Genootschap voor Informatica (NGI) Engineering Doctorate Middlesex University London School of Engineering and Information Sciences

2 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Proefschrift: 520 pagina’s Aanschaffingskosten: € 78,- Gironummer: t.n.v. Avédé-Info BV Zoetermeer Afleveradres vermelden svp

3 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Research? Than you have a question and you want an answer!

4 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Research question Research sub question 1 Research sub question 2 Research sub question n … … Problem definition Answer to sub question 1 Answer to sub question 2 Answer to sub question n Answer to Research question Answer to Problem definition Data 1 Methods 1 Theories 1 Data 2 Methods 2 Theories 2 Data n Methods n Theories n

5 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 The Research Question Objective (An academic exercise in) finding out (a contribution to) the true success and failure factors used in ICT practice (SUFFIs = SUccess and Failure Factors in ICT projects)

6 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 The Research Question Definition of the problem How were the ICT projects the author worked on managed with regard to success and failure factors? the portfolio of projects: ICT projects the author worked on including IT projects audited by the author the key here is the author’s observations and experiences How do they agree or disagree with the procedures in Professor Abdel-Hamid’s work on Software Project Management and what others say happens with regard to success and failure factors? (reflection analysis of cases / ex post review of cases)

7 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009

8 Relevance ?

9 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Relevance One may ask the question, whether it is relevant to look at success and failure factors in ICT projects Professor Jan Oonincx (The Netherlands) ( Why are information systems still failing?) John Smith (United Kingdom) ( The 40 root causes of troubled IT projects) The American “Standish Group” (only 34% are successful, 51% does not go according to plan but ultimately does lead to some result and 15% of the projects fail completely) …. - A lot of other publications Conclusion: SUFFIs still are very topical.

10 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 What is understood by a project failure? We can find different definitions (Capers Jones, John Smith, Peter Noordam, Darren Dalcher, etc.) For this thesis a project failure has one or more of the following characteristics: it does not comply with the functionality agreed to in advance it exceeds the planned time-scale by more than 50%, it exceeds the build cost by more than 50% ==== A successful project satisfies this three factors: it complies with the functionality agreed to in advance, it is delivered on time and it is delivered within the agreed budget [Noordam et al. 2007].

11 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 What others say happens International publications The 40 root causes of troubled IT projects (John Smith, 2002) Large Software System Failures and Succ. (Capers Jones, 1996) Major Causes of Software Project Failures (Lorin May, 1998) Critical Success Factors In Software Projects (John S. Reel, 1999) Seven Char. of Dysfunctional Software Projects (Evans et al, 2002) Critical failure factors in information system proj. (K.T. Yeo, 2002) The procedures of Tarek Abdel-Hamid and Stuart Madnick in: “Software Projects Dynamics – An Integrated Approach” (1991)

12 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 What others say happens Dutch publications Why are information systems still failing? (Professor Jan Oonincx, 1982) Success and failure factors in complex ICT projects (Nico Beenker, 2004) ICT project management on the road to adulthood: Success factors for ICT projects (Peter Noordam et al, 2007)

13 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 The Project Life Cycle (John Smith) Project Conception Project Initiation/ Mobilisation System Design System Development System Operation, Benefit Delivery, Stewardship & Disposal System Implementation Macroeconomic Environment Competitive Environment Technological Environment Organisational Environment Typical Contracting Points Time (6)(6) (11) (9)(9) (7)(7) (4)(4) (3)(3)

14 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 John Smith found (no more than) 40 generic root causes of troubled projects AuthorNoDescription Project conception: JS/RC01 – JS/RC06 (6) JSRC01Project based on an unsound premise or an unrealistic business case JSRC02Buyer failure to define clear project objectives, anticipated benefits and success criteria JSRC03Project based on state-of-the-art and immature technology JSRC04Lack of buyer board-level ownership/commitment or competence JSRC05Buyer’s funding and/or time-scale expectations unrealistically low JSRC06Buyer failure to break a complex project into phases or smaller projects Project initiation/mobilisation: JS/RC07 – JS/RC17 (11) System design: JS/RC18 – JS/RC26 (9) System development: JS/RC27 - JS/RC33 (7) System implementation: JS/RC34 - JS/RC37 (4) System operation, benefit delivery, stewardship and disposal: JS/RC38 - JS/RC40 (3)

15 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 VRAAG: Systeem A heeft een omvang van 2000 functiepunten Systeem B heeft een omvang van 6000 functiepunten Wat is uw mening: Systeem B is 3x zo complex als systeem A Systeem B is 1 ½ x zo complex als systeem A (schaalvoordeel) Systeem B is 10x zo complex als systeem A

16 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Probability of Selected Outcomes EarlyOn timeDelayedCancelledSum 1 FP14.68%83.16%1.92%0.25%100.00% 10 FP11.08%81.25%5.67%2.00%100.00% 100 FP6.06%74.77%11.83%7.33%100.00% 1,000 FP1.24%60.76%17.67%20.33%100.00% 10,000 FP0.14%28.03%23.83%48.00%100.00% 100,000 FP0.00%13.67%21.33%65.00%100.00% Average5.53%56.94%13.71%23.82%100.00% Software project outcomes by size of project (Capers Jones) 1 FP = 125 C statements

17 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 “… Information systems, which are set up too ambitiously, too isolated or without proper planning, stand a very large chance of failing. Insufficient involvement of future users in the development of information systems or a passive attitude of the top management also often lead to disappointing results. … 25 August ir. Aart J. van Dijk” Professor Jan Oonincx

18 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Some Success / Failure factors AuthorNoDescription PN04Unfamiliarity with scope and complexity (Peter van Noordam, 2007) PN06The use of a business case results in a higher degree of satisfaction with the project, whilst the satisfaction with the project is very low when no business case is used PN10Technical knowledge is certainly an important skill for project managers to have JRR02The designer designs and not the method (Jaap van Rees,1982) TG01Don’t believe blindly in any one method; use your methods and common sense to measure the reality against your needs (Tom Gilb, 1988)

19 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Success / Failure factors Can we integrate the SUFFIs of different author’s to create a more holistic view? (together we would like to have more than the sum of the parts)

20 Eliminating duplicates John Smith 2002 Lorin May 1998 John Reel 1999 John Smith Others Success and failure factors Jan Oonincx 1982 Nico Beenker 2004 Peter Noordam 2007 Michael Evans Methods Michael Evans 2002 Lorin May 1998 Capers Jones 1996 K.T. YEO 2002 Input Output Process Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009

21 John Smith 40 Root Causes + 7 Public Root Causes Others Capers Jones 16 Michael Evans 5 K.T. Yeo 10 Lorin May 4 John Reel 2 Jan Oonincx 8 Nico Beenker 3 Peter Noordam 9 Methods Total 59 Together: = 106

22 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 The procedures in Tarek Abdel-Hamid’s work on Software Project Management: An Integrated Approach*) based on systems thinking / system dynamics in relation to Project Management 20 Chapters (264 pages) I found 82 (TAH) SUFFIs I studied the book many times it was a very heavy job to tease out the TAH SUFFIs from the text I separated the TAH SUFFIs in category A (28) (most important) and category B (54) *) Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1991

23 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Some TAH SUFFIs TAH/09: systems complexity grows as the square of the number of systems elements TAH/14: the relationship between cost and system size is not linear. In fact, cost increases approximately exponentially as size increases TAH/65: different distribution of estimated effort among a project’s phases creates a different project TAH/52: different estimates on a software project create different projects

24 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Vraag: Maakt u wel eens gebruik van een veiligheidsmarge bij het maken van een planning? Hoeveel?

25 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September Method A B C Safety factor 0% 50% 150% Mandays estimated 2,359**) 3,538 5,900 Mandays actual 3,795 5,080 5,412 % Error (relative) + 38%*) +30% - 9% *) 3,795 – 2,359**) Project: 64 KDSI = (Delivered Source Instr.) 3,795 (Boehm/COCOMO, 1981) (COnstructive COst MOdel) Safety Factor Policy

26 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September Method A B C Safety factor 0% 50% 150% Mandays estimated 2,359**) 3,538 5,900 Mandays actual 3,795 5,080 5,412 % Error (relative) + 38%*) +30% - 9% *) 3,795 – 2,359**) Project: 64 KDSI = (Delivered Source Instr.) 3,795 (Boehm/COCOMO, 1981) Safety Factor Policy The “Safety Factor Policy” does achieve its intended objective: More accurate estimates. However, the organisation pays dearly for this because the project consumes 34% resp. 43% more mandays!!! TAH: A different estimate creates a different project!!!

27 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Vraag: Wat is de meest voorkomende faalfactor bij ICT projecten?

28 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Success/failure factors that are mentioned the “Big Hitters”(BH) CJCJ MEME KYKY LMLM JRJR JOJO NBNB PNPN Total Poor project management (BH01) Deadlines are unrealistic (BH02)++++4 Poor communication (BH03)++++4 Incomplete/weak definition requirements (BH04) Insufficient involvement of future users (BH05) Success/failure factors that are mentioned the “Big Hitters” *) *) Big Hitters: are the most important (most common, often mentioned) success and failure factors. (John Smith introduced the name Big Hitter [Smith 2001])

29 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Success/failure factors that are mentioned the “Big Hitters” Big Hitters: are the most important (most common) success and failure factors for project managers and managers it is very important to know what are the often mentioned Big Hitters because they can give special attention to these SUFFIs to avoid these pitfalls! of course each project can have its own pitfalls managers who want to realise a professional environment can also give special attention to these SUFFIs and can take countermeasures, e.g.: junior project managers will have a coach putting the Big Hitters on top of the risk list is mandatory etc.

30 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 John Smith 2002 John Reel 1999 SUccess and Failure Factors in ICT projects (SUFFI Chart) Jan Oonincx 1982 Nico Beenker 2004 Peter Noordam 2007 Jaap van Rees Tom Gilb 1982/1988 Michael Evans 2002 Lorin May 1998 Capers Jones 1996 K.T. YEO 2002 Tarek Abdel-Hamid 1991 Big Hitters (5) (8) (3) (9) (2) (28) (47) (16) (5) (10) (4) (2) (..) = number of SUFFIsTotal number = 139

31 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 One leg in theory and one leg in practice

32 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Portfolio of projects 9Projects  related to 12 project-based publications in Dutch journals*) 4 ICT project audits Case: Multihouse versus Nutsbedrijven (public utilities) (1997) Case: SYSA (GOVERN) (2004) Case: ACCINT (PUBLIC) (2004) Case: SOX (FINANCE) (2006) *) of course other author’s projects could have been chosen or added

33 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Portfolio of projects 9 Projects  related to 12 project-based publications in Dutch journals Case: Composition of bibliographies (DUT) (1971) Case: Traffic Data Collection (DUT) (1975) Case: Library Book Request system (DUT) (1979) Case: General Information Retrieval (GIRAF) (DUT) (1984) Case: Fin. info. system (building/housing) (OKAPI) (UoA) (1994) Case: Telephony (new PABX and so on) (DUT) (1994) Case: Charging method (services based) (GAK) (1998) Case: Interfacing appl. (EAI) (KOLIBRIE) (KPN Telecom) (2001) Case: RBAC SAP R/3 (POTVIS) (Police Agency) (2004)

34 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 TelephonyScore Complies with functionality agreed Yes On timeYes Within the agreed budget No *) Results Telephony project *) the project did not exceed the build cost by more than 50%

35 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 MultihouseScore Complies with functionality agreed No On timeNo Within the agreed budgetNo Results case Multihouse versus Nutsbedrijven (public utilities) (1997)

36 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Apply toScore Results casesBig Hitter 1 Big Hitter 2 Big Hitter 3 Big Hitter 4 Big Hitter 5 Funct.On time Within Budget Case 1: POTVIS project (KLPD)No Yes Case 2: Kolibrie project (KPN Telecom)No Yes Case 3: Charging method project (GAK)No Yes Case 4: Telephony project (DUT)No YesNoYes No Case 5: OKAPI project (UoA)No Yes ---# Case 6: GIRAF project (DUT)No Yes ---# Case 7: AUBID project (DUT)No Yes ---# Case 8: VDV project (DUT)No Yes ---# Case 9: BIBLIOSYSTEM project (DUT)No Yes ---# Case 10: Audit MultihouseYes No Case 11: Audit SYSA (GOVERN)Yes No Case 12: Audit ACCINT (PUBLIC)Yes No Case 13: Audit SOX (FINANCE)No YesNo YesY/N* +) unknown #) no specific budget available *) Yes or No, depends on the project Big Hitters in relation with the discussed cases

37 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Conclusions Although the results are based on a very limited spot check, the conclusion may be drawn that the collection Big Hitters within this collection of cases acts discriminating. Where at least four of the five Big Hitters are not applicable, the “score” is positive. Where at least four of the five Big Hitters are applicable, the “score” is negative. This picture also corresponds with my experiences and observations during other projects and audits. When the five Big Hitters lead to a negative score, a large number of other SUFFIs usually play a part.

38 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Case “Netherlands Court of Audit” Report “Lessons from government ICT projects”, November 2007 as far as ICT projects are concerned, the government handles these badly the Dutch government spends billions Euros every single year on ICT projects that fail entirely or in part it is not clear how many projects and how much money is involved government ICT projects become far too ambitious and complex through a combination of political, organisational and technical factors ….

39 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Case “Netherlands Court of Audit” Report “Lessons from government ICT projects”, November 2007 I analysed the report several times: I found 39 success/failure factors advisors/experts gave their comments/opinion in different ways analysing the comments: I found 58 remarks/recommendations

40 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Case “Netherlands Court of Audit” Report “Lessons from government ICT projects”, November 2007 Conclusion: it is possible to apply the SUFFI Chart in the “Netherlands Court of Audit” case based on this case, the SUFFI Chart does not need to be extended SUFFIs are well known but unpopular

41 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Big Hitter 6: Lack of senior management involvement and commitment (Jan Oonincx, John Smith) Big Hitter 7: Lack of professionalism (Tarek Abdel-Hamid, Chris Verhoef et al) EX49: There is a gross lack of professionalism in the world of ICT. Only a very small section of people have actually qualified in informatics EX50: The government should really just work with accredited information scientists and not with self-educated people EX52: Universities should train people better in managing and executing large ICT projects

42 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Big Hitter 7: Lack of professionalism (Tarek Abdel-Hamid, Chris Verhoef et al)

43 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Conclusion The results of the research as represented in this thesis are partly recorded in the SUFFI Chart above Both experienced as well as starting project managers can reap the immediate benefits (immediately usable) Spending a few hours in advance on studying the mapped SUFFIs will help them avoid a number of pitfalls The SUFFI Chart seems to apply many more areas than just software engineering

44 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Further research The SUFFI Chart can be tested and improved by project managers and researchers: - other type of ICT projects or projects outside ICT - other environments / cultures - Mary Otieno: “Failure of IT Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa” - Ahmad Estabraghy: “Patterns of software failures” - Ming Nie: “Cultural issues in IT Project Management” Create a thesaurus of SUFFIs (something like ISO 9126-standard quality model) If SUFFIs are well known, why are not they popular? (PhD research – social sciences?)

45 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September Big Hitters Poor project management (BH01) Deadlines are unrealistic (BH02) Poor communication (BH03) Incomplete/weak definition requirements (BH04) Insufficient involvement of future users (BH05) Lack of senior management involvement and commitment (BH06) Lack of professionalism (BH07 )

46 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Some recommendations to junior project managers

47 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Some (author’s) recommendations - I 1. prepare the project thoroughly 2. be sure to have a Business Case 3. make a risk analysis based on the Big Hitters and the top ten of SUFFIs and take countermeasures if necessary 4. refuse to start when deadlines are unfeasible or adjust these after consultation with the client 5. make realistic plans, not “desired” plans 6. if necessary, adjust plans on time and substantiated. Do not allow the project to run its course 7. do not start a project that is too sizeable or cut the project into pieces 8. look for projects that also appeal to the project leader as regards to application. Preferably not too sizeable but certainly challenging

48 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Some (author’s) recommendations - II 9. work methodically but use the method as a tool, not as a goal (Gilb, Van Rees, Noordam) 10. wherever possible, deliver the project results in phases 11. avoid wherever possible “big bang” scenarios 12. ensure an adequate way of communicating with the various parties (draw up a comm. plan) 13. make sure that the project officers are enjoying themselves (challenge) 14. involve ICT Management in the project at an early stage (requirements from ICT management) 15. make sure that the embedding of the project results in the user organisation is arranged and approved

49 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Some (author’s) recommendations - III 16. budget for having a few audits done 17. ensure a good project administration but spend the bulk of your time by far on project officers and project aspects with regard to content 18. work on your own quality through permanent education 19. be convinced that every project will encounter problems that need to be resolved and view these as a challenge. Be creative with regard to solutions 20. go for quality and do things right in one single go 21. try to work with small, expert teams 22. complete the project properly, it will make you feel good

50 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Questions

51 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Proefschrift: 520 pagina’s Aanschaffingskosten: € 78,- Gironummer: t.n.v. Avédé-Info BV Zoetermeer Afleveradres vermelden svp

52 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009 Thank you very much for your attention and your questions

53 Middlesex University – EngD – Aart van Dijk – September 2009


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