Is your IT project about to crash and burn?



By Yogi Schulz

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Organizations regularly confront IT projects with problematic prospects that are not progressing as expected. It’s not a pretty sight.

As the PMO leader, your nagging feeling tells you something is wrong. You definitely don’t want the failure of a project to damage your reputation, your organization’s reputation or its carefully cultivated brand. Nor do you want others in the organization to view the project as a boondoggle or a career-killing project.

Here is a list of the top reasons for IT project failure. For each reason, the questions will help you, as the PMO leader, narrow in on the problem that needs to be solved to save an IT project. Acting on the problematic answers with the project sponsor and project manager will help you recover the project from crashing and burning.

Insufficient planning

The project may fail because the planning process was shortened due to time pressure to accelerate progress. The PMO can ask these questions to adequately address the planning process:

  • Is the project charter sufficiently complete to form the basis for planning the project?
  • Is the project management plan sufficiently detailed to form the basis for a rational implementation of the project?
  • Is there a reasonably complete risk register?

Inadequate leadership

The project may fail because of inadequate leadership. The PMO can ask these questions to deal adequately with leadership:

  • Is the project sponsor engaged?
  • Has someone oriented the project sponsor?
  • Does the project manager have enough experience, given the characteristics of the project?
  • Have either of the individuals in these roles ended up in their roles more by chance rather than by conscious selection?

 Unclear goals and objectives

The project may fail due to unclear goals and objectives. The PMO can ask these questions to adequately address goals and objectives:


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How to cite this article: Schulz, Y. (2024).  Is your IT project about to crash and burn? PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue VII, July. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/pmwj143-Jul2024-Schulz-Is-your-IT-project-about-to-crash-and-burn.pdf

About the Author

Yogi Schulz

Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Yogi Schulz has over 40 years of Information Technology experience in various industries. Yogi works extensively in the petroleum industry to select and implement financial, production revenue accounting, land & contracts and geotechnical systems. He manages projects that arise from changes in business requirements, from the need to leverage technology opportunities and from mergers. His specialties include IT strategy, web strategy and systems project management.

Mr. Schulz regularly speaks to industry groups and writes a regular column for IT World Canada and for Engineering.com. He has written for Microsoft.com and the Calgary Herald. His writing focuses on project management and IT developments of interest to management. Mr. Schulz served as a member of the Board of Directors of the PPDM Association for twenty years until 2015. Learn more at https://www.corvelle.com/. He can be contacted at yogischulz@corvelle.com

His new book, co-authored by Jocelyn Schulz Lapointe, is “A Project Sponsor’s Warp-Speed Guide: Improving Project Performance.”

To view other works by Yogi Schulz, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/yogi-schulz/