Improving IT Projects through Better Management of Uncertainty

PMI Michigan Huron Valley Chapter

Kimberly Wamba, PMP, PCIP has over 10 years of project management and project collaboration experience across multiple industries including the arts, linguistics and information security sectors. She enjoys analyzing the implementation of project management across disparate industries and enjoys helping others realize project goals and prepare for their own journey toward PMP certification.

According to a Standish Group study regarding the failure rates of software projects, most are delivered late, many overrun cost projections and a significant number are cancelled at completion. Report findings from The International Journal of Software Engineering & Applications identifies uncertainties—whether they be related to marketing, technology, environment or social factors—as primary factors contributing to such failures in IT project management (Marinho, Sampaio, Lima & Moura, 2014).

It is through gaining a better understanding of the uncertainties—and better managing them in relationship to the project environment and stakeholders involved—that one may more effectively approach and complete these endeavors successfully and contribute more value.

Requirements Gathering Amidst Ambiguity: Coupling Progressive Elaboration with Focus Constraints
Project management professionals understand the importance of gathering as much information as deemed pertinent to aid the successful management and execution of the project plan. This can be done in so many ways during the planning for traditional projects. Expert judgment often rings in as often one of the best and highly utilized methods when details are less clear and documentation (such as historical information and lessons learned) is limited.

However, for IT projects, the …

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