A Glance Into What a Successful IT Project Looks Like (IT Toolbox Blogs)

Regardless of the industry a business is operating in, it likely has an IT department of some sort. Whether it be a one-man IT video monitoring systems operation or a retail department employing 100+ workers, IT is essential to the success of any company. Why is it then that so many IT projects fail? Here’s an overview of the challenges accompanied with IT projects as well as a glimpse into what a successful one looks like.

Challenges of IT Projects

Businesses these days are being told over and over that the more data they have, the better their IT projects will be. And while the value of big data can undoubtedly leading to enhanced business operations, companies should not consider it as their largest asset. When data is viewed as a more important asset than the customers themselves, this becomes a problem. Organizations should never rush to build giant data warehouses or buy data tools if they don’t know how to properly use them. Data only becomes an asset when it is collected and analyzed properly.

For many IT projects, more data simply leads to greater confusion.

The more data you have, the faster an IT team will enter into chaos. Businesses must always keep in mind it’s not about how much data they have. Instead, it’s about having the right data at the right time. And even though machine learning is entering into a new era, businesses are constantly not using it in the correct manner. Fortunately, though, AI systems are helping combat this issue by refining the process of locating the right data at the right time, which helps develop in-depth insights that can be used to propel positive business decisions.

Glimpse into a successful IT project

A successful IT project will go through five basic stages:

  • Initiation

  • Planning

  • Execution

  • Monitoring and control

  • Close

Successful IT project managers generally manage their projects according to one of two methods:

  • Waterfall: This is considered a traditional managerial methodology that employs a top-down approach. The goal is to eliminate risk from the beginning of the project.

  • Agile: This is considered a new methodology that provides optimal flexibility in the event that unexpected events occur during the project. IT teams that desire the dynamic to adapt due to necessary changes tend to be better managed according to this method.

The true success for any IT project doesn’t necessarily lie in how it is managed. Instead, it is derived from the team’s ability to effectively communicate, adapt, and keep its focus; these three pillars serve as a firm foundation for IT project success. Here’s a closer look at them.


All project deliverables and operations must be effectively visualized and communicated. Both the starting and end points of the project should be outlined from the very beginning as well as everything that will contribute to the project’s success. There is no room for vagueness. Communication among all team members is crucial and should include discussions regarding who will fulfill each role, deadlines that must be met, and how to access the appropriate resources for completing the project.


An IT project team must be agile because adaptation and quick responsiveness are essential to being flexible. All plans should be viewed as rough drafts as they may need to change if the scope and resources of the project change. Remember, micromanaging is not conducive to IT project success and will quickly cause it to fail.


No matter the IT project, time is of essence, and this is why it is so important for all team members to keep their focus on each task at hand. A divide and conquer mentality will prove to be of the utmost value, and all tasks should be completed in a linear and systematic manner with all deliverables accomplished on a step-by-step basis. Getting the team to see how each member affects the other members’ performance will help improve focus.

Source: SANS ISC SecNewsFeed @ February 26, 2017 at 12:12PM