Shortage of IT Experts?
Could this poor performance be due to a shortage of qualified IT experts? As of 2004, over 100,000 project managers have attained professional certification by the Project Management Institute ("PMI"), 35 years in existence, an organization devoted to project management professionalism and training. There are other such organizations in the world, together with many reputable colleges with in-depth project management courses of study. So more skill than ever would appear to be available to bring to bear on the myriad organizational, business, and political complexities of modern international projects. Nevertheless, although PMI has certified over 100,000 project management professionals and project managers have been trained in the latest automation tools, techniques, and strategies, many IT projects worldwide are still falling far short of required outcomes.
So why are so many Information Technology projects prone to such dismal failure? Let's look at a few examples. A June 2004 article in the British IT magazine Computer Weekly shows that a study by the British Computer Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering warned that not only is the UK failing to produce qualified IT professionals, but also that, "Their study found that less than 20% of all IT projects in the UK could be considered truly successful, and failed projects had led to billions of pounds being wasted on IT systems". Now that represents serious losses.
Then there is a scathing and sarcastic article by Malcolm Wheatley featured in the August 2000 issue of CIO magazine about government IT projects in the United Kingdom, entitled Her Majesty's Flying IT Circus. The UK has been trying for years to upgrade and improve their governmental processes with new computer systems. Wheatley's article tallies up the losses as the Britons tried in vain to install a new high-tech immigration system, "That was when Siemens' £77 million [$115 million] computerization of the Home Office's Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) ran into the buffers".
5. Project Management
Institute web site http://www.pmi.org (accessed 7/22/04)
6. Savvas, Antony, Strong Personal Skills and Certification Are
Key to Becoming a Successful Project Leader, Computer Weekly, June 2004 http://www.computerweekly.co.uk/articles/article.asp
7. Wheatley, Malcolm, Her Majesty's Flying IT Circus, CIO.com,
August 2000 http://www.cio.com/archive/080100_circus.html