Friday, December 10, 2004
When software projects go bad, the results can be disastrous. Every few months, a new horror story pops into the headlines -- like Hewlett-Packard (Profile, Products, Articles) Co.'s recent, flawed SAP (Profile, Products, Articles) deployment. The company had done dozens of smooth ERP (enterprise resource planning) migration projects, but when its latest ran into problems, the cascading disruptions contributed to HP missing its third-quarter financial projections.
A new study from the Delphi Group suggests that a significant part of the problem in tackling major IT projects lies not in the software itself, but in the business processes surrounding the deployment. Seventy percent of the respondents to an ongoing Delphi survey said they consider capturing and documenting business requirements a difficult process -- and more than 60 percent said their organization has trouble implementing changes to its processes and policies.
. . ."The greatest thing you come away with is understanding your processes better than you did before," he said. Delphi Group's Palmer said his firm's survey is aimed not at offering solutions, but at identifying pain points, so that managers like Oliveira will be conscious of the role business processes play and of the advantages of formally defining and documenting requirements. The survey, targeted toward IT managers at organizations of all sizes, can be completed online at http://www.questionpro.com/akira/TakeSurvey?id=185741. "People have been throwing around statistics for a long time about huge failure rates on software system projects, but companies are still investing in and building on software," Palmer said. "We're looking at the root causes of why the failures are so widespread."