Researching Project Success and Failure

Konstantin graduated from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute in computer science. He has 11 years of experience in IT, including 7 years of successful experience in IT project management. He manages projects using different approaches and methodologies (from RUP to SCRUM). He is interested in risk management, communication management and emotional intelligence.

Why do we seem to have similar problems in IT projects, and what are the sources of these problems? What defines a successful project? Are there any techniques that we can improve on to increase the quality of our projects and the speed at which projects are executed? Is it useful to apply specific methodologies when completing certain projects? Are there some problems in which there are no specific techniques available as solutions?

I had been trying to find the answers for these questions for years, but I couldn’t. So I decided to conduct my own research in this area last year. I made a special questionnaire and sent it only to my colleagues, ex-colleagues and some other experienced professionals who I trust. (That was one of the main points of my informal research approach, because it allowed me to receive quality and relevant data to analyze.)

The questions were divided into four blocks:

  1. how projects were organized
  2. success of projects
  3. main problems faced in different projects
  4. opinions of respondents

To ensure that all the data was representative, I made sure that:

  • All the respondents worked in different companies
  • The analyzed projects were in different areas:
    • Some were developed for the government, others for commercial purposes
    • The results were from different types of IT systems
  • The roles of the respondents were …

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