Risk Management for IT Projects

1st Edition

How to Deal with Over 150 Issues and Risks

Authors: Bennet Lientz Lee Larssen
Paperback ISBN: 9780750682312
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 2nd May 2006
Page Count: 352


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The rate of failure of IT projects has remained little changed in survey after survey over the past 15-20 years—over 40-50%. This has happened in spite of new technology, innovative methods and tools, and different management methods. Why does this happen? Why can’t the situation be better? One reason is that many think of each IT effort as unique. In reality many IT projects are very similar at a high, strategic level. Where they differ is in the people and exact events—the detail. If you read the literature or have been in information systems or IT for some time, you have seen the same reasons for failure and the same problems and issues recur again and again.

In this book IT Management experts Ben Lientz and Lee Larssen show you how to identify and track the recurring issues leading to failure in IT projects and provide a proven, modern method for addressing them. By following the recommendations in this books readers can significantly reduce the risk of IT failures and increase the rate of success. Benefits of using this approach:

Issues are identified earlier—giving more time for solution and action. Issues are resolved more consistently since the approach tracks on their repetition. You get an early warning of problems in IT work—before the budget or schedule fall apart. Management tends to have more realistic expectations with an awareness of issues. Users and managers have greater confidence in IT due to the improved handling of issues. Since the number of issues tends to stabilize in an organization, the IT organization and management get better at detecting, preventing, and dealing with issues over time—cumulative improvement. Giving attention to issues make users more realistic in their requests and acts to deter requirement changes and scope creep.

Key Features

  • Full of checklists and methods that can be used in day to day Project Management work in real companies
  • Easy to read style and book organization allows the reader to jump into the book right at the point they need
  • Shows how to set up an issues database for better identification and tracking of issues, providing an Early Warning System to help move the project to success


IT managers, Project leaders in IT departments, consultants and vendors involved in IT

Table of Contents


Part 1: Issues and Risk Management

  1. Introduction Common IT related problems Why IT efforts fail IT Differs from Other Types of Business Work How IT and the business have changed IT and politics The management view of IT Issues and risk Types of issues The life cycle of an issue Some common problems in issues management Issues across projects Problems versus opportunities The goals of IT Process improvement and reengineering The general approach to issues and risk management The organization of the book Conclusions

  2. Effective Issues Management and Coordination Introduction General management of issues The issues databases Getting started Defining issues at the start of projects and work Tracking of issues and risk User and vendor issue coordination Issue and risk communications and reporting Handling issues within the IT organization Decision making and followup Dealing with multiple issues Coping with recurring issues Conclusions

  3. Analysis and Measurements of Issues and Risk Introduction Problems with standard measurements The management critical path Multiple project analysis Tracking status using issues and risk Total issues Open issues Uncontrolled versus controlled open issues Aging of open issues Average time to resolve issues Distribution of open issues by type Issues by type over time Sele


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About the Author

Bennet Lientz

Bennet Lientz has taught and consulted on project management for the past 28 years to more than 5000 people. He developed the concept of the management critical path, acted as project manager of the Internet, and turned around 10 failing projects. This Second Edition is Lientz’ seventh book; he has also written more than 25 articles in various areas of project management.

Affiliations and Expertise

The John E. Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, U.S.A.

Lee Larssen

Lee Larssen has served as a business and IT manager and consultant for the past twenty-five years. She has extensive hands-on experience in the following areas: · Business process outsourcing for manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and logistics · Strategic planning for business units in manufacturing and distribution · IT outsourcing in the areas of systems operations, networking, system development, software package implementation, and systems support · IT management- managed groups of up to 150 employees · Coordinated the implementation of three major ERP systems · Implemented E-Business with suppliers for seven organizations · Developed and implemented score card measurements for IT and business processes · Management process improvement efforts for over a ten year period Education: · B.A., fine arts, Massachusetts Institute of Fine Arts, 1962 · M.A., mathematics, Oxford University, 1968 Positions Held: · Consultant in process improvement and IT to over forty firms in Asia, Latin America, Australia, and Europe in the following industries, 1999-present - Manufacturing - Distribution - Logistics - Marketing - Power generation and distribution - Banking - Insurance - Natural resource development · Served as project management for implementing modules of SAP and Peoplesoft in five firms · Manager, Operations, Toyota Automotive Group, 1979- 1999 · Consultant as IT manager to firms, 1974-1979 - Graphic arts - Sports management - Distribution - Marketing

Affiliations and Expertise

Consultant in process improvement and IT Management