Failures And Successes Of It Information Technology Essay

All around the world on a daily basis projects ranging from the smallest to the largest are embarked upon but a disturbingly lot of these jobs are destined for failing - right from the start. Some of these assignments may be handful of hundred dollars, but most of them run into millions and vast amounts of dollars hence failure could be catastrophic. A promising job if not carefully dealt with could turn out as a colossal inability. The value and the acceptance of IT jobs within various businesses in the twenty-first century can't be over-emphasised however; the higher rate of failures is stressing. The truth is despite the attractiveness and the benefits of IT projects, almost all of them have failed due to an array of problems which besets such jobs. Robust planning is very essential prior to starting a job. However, most don't run according to plan experiencing overrun costs, problem with stakeholders, overlooked deadlines plus some are abandoned outright. This article is to go over the underlying factors behind project inability and the remedial activities to be studied to rectify the challenge. This will be achieved with reference to Denver AIRPORT TERMINAL Baggage Handling System (Denver AIRPORT TERMINAL).

Denver AIRPORT TERMINAL Baggage Handling task started when metropolis of Denver set out to build the greatest state-of-the-art airport in the annals of the United States of America covering a land region of 140 kilometres and controlling more than 50 million air passengers annually. The Denver AIRPORT TERMINAL (DIA) system was made to house 88 air-port gates in 3 concourses, 5 kilometers of conveyor belts and 17 miles of songs, 3100 standard carts and 450 oversized carts. In addition, it included more than 100 networked PCs to regulate carts stream, 2, 700 image skin cells plus 400 radio receivers and 59 laser arrays, 5, 000 electric motors and 14 million legs of wiring. Therefore, the need to have the largest automated airport terminal baggage handling system on the planet to complement the new airport, second to none, arose. The authority at Denver were only familiar with the utilization of conveyor belts with manual tug and trolley system, so they have no prior experience about the modern baggage handling system being contemplated nor its complexity, and neither have they deal with a project of this size before, resulting in serious underestimation of the task. Because of this, what was designed to be considered a huge success and pacesetter in baggage managing system turned to a problem, plagued with catalogue of failures at every stage of the job. This will be backed by types of other assignments, highlighting their failures and successes (Calleam Consulting Ltd, 2008).

"A good plan today is preferable to a perfect plan tomorrow" (Patton, 1945). There's a saying that failing to plan is planning to are unsuccessful, as proper planning stops poor performance. Using a robust and credible plan of your expected project can be an essential foundational natural stone in project management that ought to include the project objectives (the particular project set out to achieve), the opportunity, resource needed to successfully complete the job, major deliverables and the project agenda with key delivery times (Barker and Cole, 2009). As vast resources are focused on projects, there is more focus on the planning skills of job managers than ever before to truly have a robust plan in place and the ability to rescue a project in problem. The genesis of the situation at Denver AIRPORT TERMINAL (DIA) stem from lack of adequate planning and the intricacy of the task were terribly underestimated by your choice designers. They embarked on building the most complex baggage handling system ever before attempted in airports history but failed to factor this in to the overall air port plan at the start, until it's almost too past due. The task on the engineering of the new airport were only available in November 1989 but the recognition with an automated baggage controlling system by the air-port project management team grew up in the summer of 1991. The agreement was eventually signed with Boeing Air port Equipment Automated Systems Incorporated (BAE) in Apr 1992 following a hurriedly assemble three powerful working consultations. The underestimation of the project intricacy at DIA triggered the chains of problems at every level like the time, resources and work necessary for successful conclusion. This haphazard planning was therefore a significant contributor to the project failure (Denver International Airport).

"Strategy is the design or plan that integrates an organisation's major goals, plans and activities into a cohesive entire. In other words, it pulls together and gives meaning to everything an organisation does indeed" (Quinn, 1991). The need to hold the right strategy in place can't be over-emphasised. It is therefore important that the top management think strategically immediately. "Strategic thinking means to take the long-term view and to start to see the big picture, including the group and the competitive environment, and to consider how they can fit collectively" (Daft, 2006).

At DIA, there are tactical blunders that critically called into questions the decision-making abilities of the individuals at key post. The project management team, prior to making obtain bids for the baggage handling system in 1991, assumed that each airline would find solution to their baggage handlings, hence Continental Airlines failed to make any arrangement whatsoever whilst United Airlines approached BAE to create theirs. However, after two years that work had started on the building of the new airport terminal, the project management team in 1991 improved their strategic approach when they made a decision to take the overall responsibility for the development of the built-in baggage controlling system, rather than allowing individual airline to construct one separately. Although, it was necessary that the project management team hold the control of the whole system but two years have lapsed before this decision was used, so time and resources had been thrown away. As the air port was credited to open within the next two years and time is of substance, the change in strategy and its timing undoubtedly pushed the project into further serious problems (Cerpa and Verner, 2008).

One of the essential landmarks of any major project is enough time taken up to complete each stage as any delay along its critical way could have a significant knock on influence on the whole job and may even lead to its inability. There is need to determine that there is enough time to complete the project successfully, in other words, to ensure that the task is technically possible. Strategic implementation regarding to Daft (2006) is approximately using the organisational and managerial tools to immediate resources toward achieving strategic outcomes. The decision of the DIA task management team to improve their strategy and take overall control is understandable; however, the decision to proceed with the construction of the designed baggage controlling system with just 2 yrs still left (whilst in ownership of three different negative reports) was incomprehensible. The reviews of the three bids received made it clear that the job can't be completed within two years, second the Munich air port expert advised a less sophisticated system they have had taken two full years to filled with a test run for another half a year to debug, and thirdly the report produced by Breier Neidle Patrone Affiliates in 1990 (two years earlier) stated that such complex system cannot be completed effectively within the timeframe. The decision to proceed with the job once again put a question tag on the decision-making capacity of those involved.

However, based on the case study carried out by Calleam Consulting Ltd, it was highlighted that the DIA Chief Engineer (Walter Performer) was entirely responsible for interacting with the BAE's older management team and your choice to continue with the task, even though as a civil engineer his experience was in structures and complexes and not complicated IT systems, reported to be single-minded who seldom seek self-reliance advice when it comes to decision making, personalised the project because he was accountable for the new advanced airport under structure and possessed a misconception on the project feasibility predicated on the large size prototype created. Alternatively, BAE got no previous connection with handling a system of the size however they saw it as an chance to boost their earnings, develop their business and put them in best position to gain other major deals around the world (Chua, 2009).

Also it ought to be noted that there is no task that is completely risk-free; they all carry specific amount of risks. However, the popularity of hazards and the way and manner they are managed is vital as this might determine whether the project is proceeding towards success or failing. In project management, handling risk is becoming increasingly important due to the size and complexity of most projects putting a larger demand on skills, project management techniques and technology to achieve the desired end result (Cadle and Yeates, 2008). The inability of the task team to recognize, analyse and quantify the risks involve could confirm costly. Matching to a joint research carried out by Oxford College or university and Computerweekly. com (2003) exhibited risk factors as one of the main reasons why IT tasks have a high rate of failing.

BAE didn't properly analyse the scope, schedule and finances of the DIA task before committing itself to a fixed scope, fixed agenda and set budget agreement, and with a promise to deliver within both years period thus moving them into a very tight corner without space to manoeuvre. Ironing out the contractual conditions, scope, and timetable and budget layout of a job of this magnitude is in no way a smart decision, and it once more called into question the professional judgement and the decision-making skills of BAE top management. The BAE management didn't recognise the enormity and the implication of the risk they have taken. Possessed they, they can have finds means of limiting the potential risks by reducing the scope, program and rearrange the finances to help make the project more theoretically feasible and commercially viable. Both DIA project management team and BAE made another critical mistake by excluding key stakeholders, the airlines, off their discussions during discussions. The airlines were key stakeholders whose concerns have to be addressed and fixed, hence their occurrence and contribution is vital to the results of the project. Failure to request them to negotiations and conversations where key decisions regarding the project were taken was a backward step for your job (Cadle and Yeates, 2008).

Buttrick (1997) described stakeholders as those "who are damaged by the task. All those mixed up in project are, therefore, stakeholders. However, there are also those who take no direct part in the project as team members, but whose activities will for some reason be changed because of this". According to Calleam Consulting Ltd (2008), whenever key stakeholders who should be at the major discussions and discussions were mainly excluded and later accepted, the trend revealed that they normally made demands and the acceptance of these change demands may completely change the course of the task.

It was therefore unsurprising when the airlines wanted that large baggage tracks, ski equipment songs and maintenance songs be added triggering significant changes to work already completed in so doing compounding the issues of a project already in big trouble. Although, the changes created by United Airlines for example, slicing off bags transfer between aircraft saved $20m but resulted in redesigning and redoing some work already completed. BAE management team acquired primarily explained that there would be no changes mid-way in to the project but finally offered into the pressure from the airlines. However, the acceptance of the changes and its own implication for the task and BAE reliability need much to be desire, and there seems to be a significant communication gap between your BAE's project team and its top management accountable for making major decisions (Chua, 2009).

"The functions of an project team innovator are to establish and achieve the duty, build and co-ordinate the team, develop and inspire the individuals" (Anon 1). When embarking on a job, it is ideal that the task administrator or the job team have a broad view of the complete project or know at least certain requirements from the learn to finish, to efficiently completing the project. Bringing everyone connected with the job in to the same team is very essential alternatively than having pouches of smaller team that are completely disconnected. At DIA, there is a team that was responsible for the physical engineering of the new international airport and another team was in charge of the baggage handling project. Because of this, when the new air-port was designed and designed, the space provided for the baggage managing system had sharp sides and was smaller than what was needed, causing carriers being thrown off of the carts. To lessen the quickness and force specially when negotiating tight edges, the baggage controlling project team have no solution than to halve the automobiles quickness from 60 to 30 automobiles per minute. That is another indication that we now have planning problems right at starting, as the two teams ought to have been helped bring collectively and operate as you built in team. Amending, changing and making major changes to a job mid-way places a lot of pressure on the task team, the scope, the schedule, the deliverables, expand the budgets and put the task in danger (NetoAlvarez, 2003).

"Management is the ability to influence people into the attainment of organizational goals" (Daft, 2006). A job administrator is a innovator - leading the team for the attainment of the aims of the project and in this case a baggage controlling system at DIA. However, any command without a credible succession plan is failure. When the DIA Chief Airport Engineer (Walter Singer) passed away in 1992, the project encountered series of major problems chiefly for insufficient credible successor to consider charge and present clear route. Mr. Singer's successor lacked the mandatory knowledge and experience to handle the sophisticated system. As a result, many changes were designed to the project, several attempts were designed to open the machine as a big-bag rather than incremental or phased spin out, the mark opening dates were cancel four times, BAE were fined $12, 000. 00 each day for delays by City of Denver, the price of maintaining the clear airport terminal was at $1m monthly and at the end in 2005, the machine was scrapped and substituted with manual system which is still working perfectly up till today (Calleam Consulting Ltd, 2008).

According to Standish statement carried out in 1994, 31% from it projects were terminated mid-way, 53% were challenged with a budget overrun of 180%. A similar group in 2007 reported IT jobs failing of 19%, and 46% were challenged anticipated to time/cost overrun or not reaching the user's requirements. However, IT jobs failed due to different reasons however, many are normal.

The Australian consumer service board's MANDATA job failed because of the retirement of the important project champion, unpredictable political and national economic standards, scarcity of key personnel, poor end user support and funding restriction.

The Wessex Regional Health Authority's Regional Information System Plan (RISP) failed anticipated to insufficient relevant experience in IT tasks, budget overrun, Sky-rocketing cost of implementation - the original budget was 25. 8m but 43m had been spent when abandoned, and very poor interior audit.

The London stock exchange 's transfer and automated registration of uncertified stock (TAURUS) system failed as a result of its complexity, ambitious target beginning day that was too short, inability to meet with catalogue of shareholders unrealistic needs, program and budget overrun with 500m thrown away when the job was aborted.

The AMR Information system (AMRIS) CONFIRM failed credited to unclear specifications, task complexity, communication gaps among users, concealment of information by professionals, test failures, time and budget overrun- $55. 7m budgeted but $125m have been spent when scrapped.

The Government Bureau Exploration (FBI) Virtual Circumstance Data file (VCF) failed due to lack of correctness and completeness in information provided by FBI, way too many minute details missing system integration, unrealistic completion date, lack of clearly specified milestones or timetable, poor management, insufficient coordination and control.

The FoxMeyer Drug's Delta 111 Job failed anticipated to unrealistic expectation put on the system, incompatibility of the two systems - Delta111 and ERP, increased complexity of the project, and insufficient skilled personnel.

The London Ambulance Service Computer-Aided Dispatch System (LASCAD) failed due to the developer lack of earlier experience in building similar system, unrealistic project schedule, users' lack of training and faults, and ignoring expert advice which resulted in its crash.

No two tasks are exactly the same. Each task has its challenges which is left to the project director and the task management team to gather all their competence and ensure they have a powerful plan (including contingency plan) in location to properly guide the task to achieve the organisation's goals (Chua, 2009).

To ensure the success of job delivery, organisations must action proactively (somewhat than reactively) when undertaking projects, the time of relaxing on the fence and doing little or nothing has exceeded as project professionals and task management groups are appraised predicated on results. To increase the success of task delivery, there are procedures that can be used by organisations. The job management team all together and key decision makers (as with DIA) must recognise the complexity of the job and the potential risks involved. This is achieved through good planning which must be perform before any try to embark on the task or committing resources. There is absolutely no substitute for using a robust plan in place - it is crucial. The plan must consider and dwelling address any likely eventuality before, after and during the task including contingencies (Matta and Ashkenas, 2003).

"Strategy formulation is the level of tactical management that involves the planning and decision making that lead to the establishment of the organization's goals and of a specific tactical plan" (Daft, 2006). A carefully formulated working strategy organises resources into a unique push propelling the company to gain maximum advantage. Strategic decisions are necessary and should be in place right from the learn to give course to the complete project. Regular changes in tactical approach will only derail the task, hence the project management team must carefully analyse any change submission considering its implication on the range, routine and budget of the task and therefore withstand it to keep the project on the right track. This is exactly what the DIA task management team must do alternatively than let's assume that each flight would make procedures because of their baggage handlings. They established their judgement on 'assumptions' alternatively than 'facts and numbers'. Projects ingest organisation's resources which is therefore too high-risk and unwise to assume as the word goes that "Assumption is the daddy of mess-ups" (Anon 2).

Change and risk management are inter-dependent and closely related, hence the necessity to combine both into a singular methodology. "If changes are unmanaged, then additional time and money are had a need to perform risk management, which often takes on the looks of and behaviour of problems management" (Kerzner, 2003). At every level of a project crucial decision(s) would have to be made. Hence, it is necessary that the job management team employ and pay attention to all key players (such as sponsors, team members, stakeholders, expert advice etc) linked with the task prior to making an important and irreversible decisions (Dorsey, 2005).

Change management, risk management and stakeholders management is pivotal to the success of any project. The catastrophic decision to continue with the job was reached by the DIA Chief Engineer (Walter Slinger) and the BAE's senior management team without taken into account the level of risk involved, the reservation voiced by many of their supervisor that the task required a minimum of four years and not 2 yrs, and completely disregarding the experts' advice from Munich air-port and Neidle Patrone Associates survey on complexity. "Negotiation is an activity for attaining an arrangement in situation where there are both common and conflicting interests" (Anon 3). All key stakeholders must be involved in project conversations and negotiations as their contribution is central to the successful completion and acquiring the desired results. The DIA decision to exclude the airlines from major conversations and negotiations before the project commenced was inexplicable, this shouldn't have occurred. Insufficient users' engagement is one of the major problems of job failure. Got they been engaged immediately the costly blunders which finished with stretched scope and timetable, budget and time overrun would have been prevented (Cerpa and Verner, 2009).

"Successful information systems development and deployment requires the connections of organisational, real human and specialized factors. The job supervisor and team need to manage the associations between these three factors to ensure a favourable end result" (Anon 4). When embarking on a complex project, it is of paramount importance that clubs are properly included. A disjointed pocket of teams working separately on the same project would serve no purpose but instead lead to communication gaps, misunderstanding and throw away of resources (Cadle and Yeates, 2008).

The designers of the new airport terminal physical building and the designers of the baggage system at DIA proved helpful as another team. This, in effect, created a communication spaces between your two groups. The designers of the physical building only made a general space allowance for the baggage managing system that was unsuitable as carriers were ejected from carts whilst navigating sharp changes, creating another major problem for a task that is already in big trouble. This resulted in the velocity of the carts being halved. However, this issue could have been averted by bringing together both the designers of the physical building and the designers of the baggage managing system to interact as one built-in team. It really is more beneficial if all the teams working on the same job are brought mutually into one big team and work together as communication gaps would be bridged, enhancing understanding amongst team members and better utilization of resources (Calleam Consulting Ltd, 2008).

Most of the IT projects are complex and consideration must be given to how the system is supplied. "Well managed tasks plan incremental delivery because they recognize that it is only when the customer begins to actually measure the product that the organisation starts to learn at anything like the necessary rate" (Henderson, 2010).

The attempt to move out the DIA baggage handling system as a large bang failed on four different events because the machine testing continue to flounder (as it was not properly debugged) leading to huge cost to BAE and City of Denver, and the eventual abandonment of the task. Corresponding to Barker and Cole (2009) reviews show than incremental roll-out of sophisticated projects are more successful than a big bang, as it gives room for the system to be debug at different phases predicated on the feedback from the users and secondly, misunderstanding between customer and company can be dealt with promptly as they arise, thus minimising the effects on the project.

IT jobs would experience a much better success rate if organisations could plan more strategically by clearly defining the task objectives, create a well organised and integrated team, understand and control risks, complex issues and stakeholders, encourage customer involvement, credible management succession plan, secure top management support and determination, define strategy and success requirements, ensure good management of resources and understand the complexity of the project. As organisations continue to invest plenty of money on IT jobs and the pressure to provide on time and within budget is on, the adoption of the criteria would greatly increase and maximise their success rate (Dorsey, 2005).

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