As I work with senior-level IT leaders, IT operations directors, as well as IT program and project managers, I hear more and more about failed technology implementations. Not that the technology itself failed, although that certainly happens too. What really intrigues me is the level of project failure from an operational, functional, and process standpoint.

IT Project Failure: What Drives It?

Where to begin? IT projects fail for so many reasons. Chief among them, however, are reasons that must be considered before any project is initiated. These include:

  • A Poorly Defined Existing Process: For a technology integration to work well, a clear understanding of the existing process is vital. If the process (manual or automated) is not mapped out clearly, including all the sub-processes and deviations, there will likely be so many exceptions that the new technology will be deemed a waste and the adoption rate by the business groups will be low.
  • A Business Analysis Process That’s Lacking: I am one of those who truly believes the BA portion of the project is the most critical. The BA phase encompasses much of the information from the bullet above, as the functional business unit often does not have their processes mapped out in detail.
  • Transformation or Change Management: Finally, an IT deployment is not likely to be successful without having the business embrace the technology, the tools, and the new way of doing things. Without an effective change management plan, many are just going to pay lip service or find a way to do exactly what they do today within the new technology framework, resulting in no real change and no ROI.

How Can the CIO Plan for Success?

So how do you plan for success if you’re the CIO, CTO, or IT Executive?

  • Create an environment that fosters excellence in project planning and requirements gathering and analysis, not just on the execution time lines.
  • Establish boundaries for your program and project managers in regard to the scope of these initiatives so they are well defined.
  • Interface with other business leaders so you can help your teams avoid projects that balloon and cause significant scope creep, which often leads to projects that never really end.
  • Cultivate a focus on true organizational change by promoting collaboration with executives, managers, and key line employees from the business disciplines impacted by the new technology. This will drive acceptance, buy-in, and, ultimately, technology adoption.

A recent TechRepublic article presents 5 questions that an IT leader should ask before giving a project the green light.

What strikes me most from the IT career side of things is that many of these same questions should be applied in your approach to your career. Your career is essentially an ongoing project always in some stage of the lifecycle, be it initiation and planning, execution, or closure. If you take some of these principles and apply them to your IT career planning, you might find the road a little less uncertain.

How Does This Impact Your Resume?

As you put together your technical resume, consider these common stumbling blocks. Ask yourself, how have I resolved or overcome these issues in my career? Be sure to develop content for your resume and cover letter that positions you as a problem solver.

Most IT candidates write about the projects they were involved in and the relevant technologies. That’s important, but only from the perspective that is supports a real brand message. A lot of folks out there can manage an IT project. But how many can bring your unique approach? Just you, or else it wouldn’t be unique. So make that be your core deliverable message or theme throughout your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and any other job search documentation you create. Everything else should reinforce that brand.

Author's Bio: 

Stephen Van Vreede, ACRW, CPRW -- Stephen brings 10 years as a career branding strategist/resume writer to the ITtechExec team. He also brings 8 years of corporate management experience, where he oversaw a large-scale, blended inbound and outbound call center with operational sites and virtual agents in the United States and India for a GE Capital company.
To learn more about Stephen and his company, please visit ITTechExec To read more resume writing articles, visit The Career Experts