Published here December, 2008.

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Small Projects and Support Work | Downside | Summary


According to authors Bennet Lientz and Lee Larssen:

"The rate of failure of IT (information technology) projects has changed little in survey after survey over the past 15-20 years - approximately 40-50%. This has happened in spite of new technology, innovative methods and tools, and different management methods. Why does this happen? Why can't the situation be better? One reason is that many think of each IT effort as unique. Therefore, while you might be able to use basic methods and tools again, the situation is different. In reality many IT projects are very similar at a high strategic level. Where they differ is in the people, exact events - and the details."[1]

I have news for the Authors. Project people in other project management domains make the same claim with the same reality.

The authors go on to observe:

"Risk is a fuzzy term - it can mean different things to different people. Here, work in IT has a high risk if significant issues remain unresolved or are solved in a way that is negative towards the work. Issues can be either negative problems or positive opportunities. Risk is often characterized as the product of exposure or loss and the likelihood of the problems occurring. By tracking issues, establishing an issues database, and taking other similar steps detailed in this book, you can reduce the likelihood."[2]

Therefore, the authors' objectives are to:

  • Provide their readers with a proven, modern method for dealing with IT-related issues and risks
  • Supply an approach identifying and tracking issues and risk
  • Enable the reader to perform a wide range of analysis of issues, and
  • Address specific commonly encountered issues in different areas that include or are related to IT[3]

As you will gather from the book's title, after describing their approach to Effective Issues Management and Coordination, the authors present over 150 examples of issues and risks. This they do in a very organized way, but warn in a concluding note to their preface:

"As you read this book, you may find some of the examples unrealistic. You might ask, 'Do such companies and organizations exist that are this screwed up?' They do. We and you have knowledge of them or even worked with them. Is this bad? No. It is a fact of life."

Armed with that caveat, scan the Table of Contents for the title that most closely matches your current predicament, turn to the corresponding page and read up the authors' experiences and their recommendations for resolution.


1. Lientz, Bennet, P., & Lee Larssen, Risk Management for IT Projects, Elsvier, Oxford, UK, 2006, Preface p xv
2. Ibid
3. Ibid, pp xv-xvi
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