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The Silence is Killing Us – IIBA Presentation

70% of enterprise IT projects, and 95% of those over a million dollars, fail. 75% of those failures are caused by one critical oversight—that nobody knows they’re making—the business never fully communicates to the tech team what the business is trying to do.
On today’s episode of State of the CIO, we have David Burrill joining us. Dave shares so many great insights for avoiding IT failures. He shares his experiences with IT failures including common problems like communication and processes and how proper questioning can eliminate these problems.
Covid-19 is rattling nerves, up-ending lives and sparking a huge expansion of the virtual workplace. For those contemplating or in the midst of sponsoring enterprise IT projects this is going to significantly expand the communication and execution challenges standing in the way of your success.
We’re not very good at it. In fact, playing Russian Roulette with five bullets in the gun (five out of six) actually has better odds of success than running a large IT project. Almost everyone in the industry has, at least some inkling, that this problem exists. But as with death, and such other unpleasantries, we don’t like to talk about it too much. It makes us uncomfortable.
Having initiated a discussion during my last post about the frequency of enterprise IT project failures, it’s time to address two other parameters of this issue. I’ll start by looking at the annual cost of these failures and conclude today with an introduction to their primary point of origin.
A large managed care company was experiencing multiple, on-going, inter-departmental turf battles that were beginning to damage the external credibility of the organization. It was a perfect example of data silos run amuck. The clinical, finance, sales, actuarial, claims and IT departments all had their own teams of analysts and IT staff generating their own reports, using their own datasets from their own systems, with their own definitions.
In 2012 I was introduced to the CEO of the mortgage division of one of the ten largest banks in the US. For this story, I’ll call him Tom. Eighteen months prior the division had launched what was considered a strategically vital data warehouse and reporting initiative under the auspices of a team of PhD economists.
A startup electronics manufacturer needed a pipeline tracking and forecasting system for their sales network. Management was convinced it was a straight-forward process that should be easy to automate. They hired a local consultant to customize an off-the-shelf CRM platform to give them visibility into the pipeline of each rep and customer.