Understanding Risks in IT Projects


It is a common practice that when a business, whether small or large decides to undertake an IT project, the first thing a project manager will do is to whip out a Gantt chart and starts planning including drawing up the budget, timeline and the expectations. This is then presented to the board (in big businesses), or the owner (in small businesses) for approval. Then voila... everything should work according to plan, with some minor adjustments factored into the plan, right? Wrong... this is a common misconception of many, who would ultimately learn that in any IT projects, big or small carries risks, and the bigger the project is, the bigger the risks and the stake will be higher. These risks may eventually cost the business heavily in terms of monetary losses or damaged reputation. This can happen in all sorts of unthinkable ways. That being said, there are small IT projects that did have severe negative repercussions as well. Trying to "dive in" without first spending some time doing ground work and talking to relevant parties while exploring the bigger picture is just a recipe for disaster.