Many reasons why projects succeed!

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Do you recognise this? Projects finish on time within budget and constraints, and all the stakeholders needs and requirements are fulfilled. The teams operating exactly according to the guidelines and are “self steering” teams. The team members are inspired and there is no hidden agenda and all involved members are not afraid of changes. If you have encountered such a situation then most likely your organisation has done all the things that you possibly can imagine. Maybe most of the things your organisation has done are described here in this article about “why projects succeed!”. 


  1. The maturity of the organisation is high; end-users, ICT and business.
  2. The volatility of the surrounding environment of the organisation is low.
  3. The organisation does have good governance. Managing stakeholders and especially suppliers is under control.
  4. Management is anticipating the problems of many reduction programs and efficiency improvements, and takes appropriate actions to avoid stalemate.
  5. The knowledge of the organisation is low. Business works tightly with ICT. There is a handshake between the parties.
  6. Within the organisation everybody understands that procurement and security is important and these disciplines are interwoven with governance and architecture
  7. Th e different interests at any level of the organisation is understood and alligned
  8. Management is involved and they do not practise the principle “management by Excel”.
  9. The leadership does fit exactly how the professionals on tactical and operational level operate and expects from management with a high level of freedom. Management does not apply a militaristic or a babysitting approach.


  1. There is a lot of trust between contractor and client.
  2. The internal board is unanimous and give clear viewpoints and guidelines.
  3. The goal, vision, mission is aligned between the different stakeholders or there is no big difference to set goals and there is no incompatibility.
  4. There is no vendor lock-in and if there is the vendor helps the client to define an appropriate exit-strategy.
  5. The client/customer or owner of a challenge is mature and does understand the importance of control, planning,  and knows that monitoring the implementation and limits herself to the guidelines and defined goals and not the “how”.
  6. Vendors, managers and operations have always the same goals, priorities and although they have their own agenda, the common issues / interests / concerns comes first.


  1. The project has set a well-defined scope. There a no or few scope changes and budget discussions.
  2. The project has ambitious goals but they are SMART and manageable and not complex.
  3. The project contains many temporary personal from outside but the management is able to inspire them to act as a team, give them good responsibilities and challenges and therefor they will not go for their own gain and benefit and extend the project to push their own revenue (turnover).
  4. The organisation, before it starts projects, has determined the risks and mitigated these risks like resourcing, knowledge, budget and procedures.
  5. Rather than using the big-bang, organisation or project areusing an agile or scrum method or least recognise that small steps should be taken and taken into account that new insights arise during the progress of the project and should be dealt with.
  6. The definition and exploration phase are fully and properly done before the project starts.
  7. Projects has realistic and SMART goals and large and complex challenges are broken down into workable plans. There is a rhythm in solving complex problems by solving it piece-by-piece in a consistent and integrated way.
  8. The business case and the results of the case are discussed and is the input of a project.
  9. The architectural principles, guidelines and other guiding facts are known and during the design and build these things are taken into account.
  10. If possible the project is avoiding as mcuh as she can the principle of “First customer”.This means, the project should not take too much risk; certainly when everything is rather “new”;
  11. The project mandate has worked out well.
  12. The functions, roles, tasks and responsibilities are discussed and well documented and communicated.
  13. Proper risk management is executed and there is time pressure but this is realistic, there are no limited resources and knowledge, budgets are based on well-developed estimates.
  14. All parties feel responsible and fully involved. This is due to proper politics where the main stakeholders takes care of managing the pro’s and con’s of all parties and get them together in an open and fair meetings.
  15. The number of  simultaneous running projects is realistic and change management is not coming under heavy pressure.
  16. The project operates in an international environment and because management anticipates problems like distance, language and cultural differences by discussing these issues and take mitigating actions.
  17. Set backs and new insights are taken into account and this is reflected within the planning.


  1. There is a lot of experience about the new technology and every professional is facilitated when researching new technology. Integration analysis, impact analysis, function analysis are executed before even the project starts. The money involved will be payed back during the project.
  2. Tools are used and contribute to the quality and efficiency of the work.
  3. The development of new technologies are going fast. Standardisation and no-customisation is important and therefor you will keep the OPEX under control.
  4. The expectations of tooling and software to be used is realistic. Tooling delivers exactly the requested functionalities.
  5.  Solutions are devised based on functionality rather than technology.

External and internal factors

Before a project starts, she should consider to do a SWOT-analysis of the following:

  1. Exponential growth: The number of end-users outside the data center, and the number of devices grow more than exponentially so that ICT management comes under severe pressure, there is less time for projects.
  2. Increase complexity: The IT has become too complex. There is no overview anymore. We tend to attack problems with new technology. There are few standards, there are too many tools, procedures are too complex and contains too many controls.
  3. Lack of oversight: The current agreements regarding licensing, naming, design can be prohibitive or too complex to be reckoned with.
  4. Architecture is in an early stage of maturity: Project Start Architecture and Reference Architectures are not well developed or are too theoretical.
  5. Documentation is a “burden”: documentation is not up to date, not present, not approachable, not understandable.
  6. Low degree of rationalisation: Application landscape is too little rationalised.
  7. Constant and increasing change: dynamics in an organisation is all time high and the quality of asset management / CMDB is poor.
  8. Much technical jargon no one understands – even the ICT itself – everywhere Babylonian confusion. The technical jargon particularly creates a lot of confusion.
  9. Increase of specialisation and lack of communication reduces the quality and outcome negatively. The increasing specialisation creates many border lines which is rather difficult to cross:
  10. Technical professionals tend to control freaks. they desire for control is big: This introduces a lot of control points, many procedures and administration burden. This slows down projects. Therefor we need hackers who bypasses this nonsense and contribute to results and avoid many hours of in-productivity.
  11. There is a big gap between account management and operation: Sales is promising the customer too much which operation can not deliver.



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