Why IT Projects Fail Lead Paper - SAI UK Steve Doughty INTOSAI EDP Committee 3rd Performance Audit Seminar Ljubljana, Slovenia 14-16 May 2001
Why IT Projects Fail Introduction Main factors Recent developments in the UK Issues for discussion
Introduction Increasing dependency on IT IT offers great opportunities but presents significant risks Procurement methods have changed but same mistakes are made UK Paper draws on more than 25 cases during the 1990s (Performance Audits, not IT Audits) Examines problems, causes, impacts, lessons learnt
Impacts Often wider impacts are overlooked Can be wide ranging Papers identifies 6 headings and gives examples of each Impact on the citizen the use of public funds ability to manage ability to produce financial accounts business development anticipated benefits
Main factors Themes Inception and design Management Relationships with Suppliers (dealt with under the IT Procurement discussion) Post implementation issues and learning lessons
Main factors 1 Inception and design of projects Seen as IT projects, rather than business projects Business needs, business change, user requirements Scale and complexity of projects, modular and incremental development Delays increase the risk of being overtaken by technological change
Main factors 2 Managing projects Leadership and responsibility People and skills Project management Risk management Contingency planning
Main factors 3 Relationships with suppliers discussed under the IT procurement theme
Main factors 4 Post implementation issues and learning lessons Staff training Project review Realising benefits Learning lessons more widely
Recent developments in the UK SPRITE Programme (Successful Projects in an IT Environment) Gateway Reviews
SPRITE Business Focus and Direction Leadership Business case development Measures of success People and Resources Skills mapping Skilling Civil Service reform Tools and Techniques Guidance Reviews Suppliers Information
Gateway Reviews 1. To confirm business justification 2. To confirm procurement method and sources of supply 3. To confirm investment decision 4. To confirm readiness for service 5. To confirm in-service benefits
Issues for discussion 1 Diagnosis Are there any other problems or factors?
Issues for discussion 2 Improving success Does best practice guidance make a difference? Are there examples of success, and what are the contributory characteristics? How are experiences (good and bad) shared? [Procurement issues from yesterdays discussion on the IT Procurement theme]
Issues for discussion 3 Improving success through better audit Do audit reports result in better awareness and understanding? How has this been achieved? Do audit reports improve success? What action has been taken by SAIs to improve success? Can this be measured? Does audit review the business project as a whole? Do you have a standard structured approach for auditing such projects? Does this help more easily identify reasons or success or failure? What are the most difficult areas to audit? Any why? Is there best practice guidance in this area?