Over the last 18-24 months I have researched and taken on a number of Enterprise Initiatives such as Enterprise Architecture, BPM, SOA, and agile development to name a few. As I researched each topic I found tons of articles recommending to steer far away from each initiative. The common theme is that it is expensive, too hard to do, and most initiatives fall. Today I was researching Enterprise Metadata and many of the search results pointed towards doom and failure.
Why is there so much failure with these all important initiatives? I did some research and found that a large amount of normal projects fail at equally high rates. The enterprise initiatives are just more visible and usually require a significant upfront investment. So what are the common reasons for failed projects? An article at Gantthead.com provides the following list:
- Inadequately trained and/or inexperienced project managers
- Failure to set and manage expectations
- Poor leadership at any and all levels
- Failure to adequately identify, document and track requirements
- Poor plans and planning processes
- Poor effort estimation
- Cultural and ethical misalignment
- Misalignment between the project team and the business or other organization it serves
- Inadequate or misused methods
- Inadequate communication, including progress tracking and reporting
- Lack of strong executive sponsorship
- Unrealistic scope ("boiling the ocean")
- Lack of governance
- Do we have the leadership required to take on this project?
- Do we have enough change agents to change our culture?
- Will we be able to get enough funding to adequately meet our objectives?
- Will we get the support from the executives and/or the business?