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Gartner's top ten tips for successful IT projects

Daniel Thomas

Two in three of all IT projects fail to achieve their intended result, according to analyst firm Gartner, which has produced a 10-step guide to help companies achieve better value from their IT investment.

Admit your problem: Few IT organisations have a methodology for evaluating IT investments that is in step with what technology is expected to do for the business.

Learn the basics: Companies must provide measures that demonstrate how IT-related changes and investments contribute over time to improved business performance, competitiveness and economic growth.

Surrender ownership and learn their language: All initiatives must be viewed as "business-enabling" and input from the people who will be applying the technologies every day is a must.

Reach for the top: CIOs need the same information to assess IT investments as for any other capital investment: what it will cost, what it will do for the business and what the return on investment is likely to be.

Build a framework: Consistency is the key to business value of IT. Develop a system that can be used across any project and any organisation.

Hire good help: Choose an independent advisor with road-tested methodologies that can be tailored to your business. You will enhance your credibility and simplify the complications.

Ask sobering questions: Sobering self-analysis must precede any major IT project. Can you make it happen? Will it be as beneficial to the company as you anticipate?

Appoint authority: A successful strategy requires governance. This can be invaluable in breaking the deadlock between business units and the IT organisation, usually caused by lack of trust and credibility.

Know when to stop: Companies should stop, within the first 60 days, any project that do not confirm they will have a realistic expected payback.

Stay with it - improve continuously: Business cases for IT investments should not become dusty documents once the implementation starts. Continue to check performance against targets.


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