12 Oct 2016

CU LAB: Major failings for IT projects

Steven Klimt says there are some common failings – and ways to avoid them.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.


IT projects can consistently run overtime and over budget.  Everything procuring IT need to bear in mind a number of relatively simple steps to ensure that they minimise their risks of this happening.  First and perhaps most importantly know the scope, understand that which you want and document it properly. If that is done that will greatly minimise potential for variation, scope creep and delays and cost overrun in the course of a project.  Perhaps that is the most important thing. 

The second issue is the implementation of solutions.  In my experience it is always far better to implement solutions on a staggered basis rather than a one-off big bang basis.  In that way you are affecting fewer people as you undertake the implementation and also you have more time to iron out bugs on a smaller group of people. It is therefore a far preferable way to implement the projects. 

The third quick tip (this sounds very obvious) is really check out your vendors and who is supplying you with the services.  In many cases vendors will promise all sorts of things that they have not delivered, or are not in a position to deliver. Speaking to their customers and checking out their claims is always of inestimable importance.

The final point to note in particular in this day and age is try and adopt a decentralised approach as much as possible.  A decentralised approach ‒ this may involve adopting web-based solutions, cloud-based solutions, procuring the IT as a service ‒ has the advantage that you as someone procuring IT is not paying for a significant bespoke build. Secondly, it means that you can keep up to date with technology and keep up to date with developments.

Those four tips, and bearing them in mind, greatly minimise the risks of overtime and over-scope in projects.