Why IT Matters:
Project Management for Information Technology
KAREN R.J. WHITE, PMP, CONSULTANT
Information technology plays an ever-increasing role in the delivery of the services that we rely on in our everyday lives. Information technology surrounds us, from the technology with which we manage our households, to the technology that is used in our schools and workplaces, to the technology we use to interact with one another. Information technology is no longer confined to the business community. Management of the projects by which that technology is delivered to us is of ever increasing importance.
It should come as no surprise that failures of information technology (IT) projects often have a negative impact on the business organization sponsoring the project. There have been numerous reported cases where the failure of IT to deliver much needed capabilities impacted a company’s financial standing, market shares, or even worse. A search on the Internet using the term “IT Project Failure” brings up numerous articles and blog-sites identifying the costs of IT project failures and the impact those failures had on the business. Some of the projects cited in a Computerworld, September 2002 article include ERP implementations and large-scale custom development efforts.1 In 2003, CIO magazine discussed some of the challenges facing the IRS Modernization Project, an $8 billion project involving infrastructure upgrades and modifications or replacement of over 100 separate applications, and the issues confronted in AT&T’s Wireless recent upgrade.2