Technology is everywhere. From construction to healthcare you would be hard-pressed to the find a business which is not reliant on a significant IT element because of the obvious benefits it brings but, as they say, “it ain’t all sunshine and roses”.
Technology is an inherently complex subject. Technology is typically integrated into other complex industries, and this can prove difficult. If you are in construction, road tolling for example, your speciality is just that. You don’t ‘do’ technology projects, but you will inevitably have to consider technology aspects which could be vital to the success of the project, so what do you do?
You subcontract technology aspects to technology specialists, and after a competitive selection process you choose the tenderer which can best cater to your needs. All seems well because you have industry specialists working on the bits of the project they best understand, but nevertheless issues begin to surface.
It may be that the supplier, talented though they may be, simply does not understand the complexities of road tolling and therefore has difficulty implementing a system which is able to deal with the nuances of the project. Conversely, It may be that the customer did not accurately envisage key user statistics upon which an IT system was built.
Most likely it will be a combination of these and a number of factors which ultimately lead to cost overrun and project delay.
Add to this the fact that construction projects often employ a standard set of contractual conditions (e.g. the FIDIC Gold Book) which is not specifically aimed at the technology aspects of a project, meaning another complex industry (i.e. law) becomes an obscuring factor, and you have all the ingredients for an exceptionally sticky situation.
Sometimes, with the help of an outside eye, these issues can be unravelled before any significant legal proceedings occur provided the parties are willing to accept that mistakes were made on both sides and that the most important thing is to move the project forward. However it is typically not as simple as this, and the result is often a drawn out legal process which can end up costing billions.
So how can you reduce the risk of project failure? Click on the link below to download IT Group’s Top 10 Tips for avoiding IT project failure.