IT Program Manager

IT Projects Tend to Face Delays and Incur Cost Overages

Numerous examples in the history of IT project implementation prove that even the most capable IT leaders can fail. Usually, the main reason is that the pace of change is more than what they can handle. This isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, over a decade ago, the Harvard Business Review reported that one in six project costs more than 200% of the estimated amount. In addition, about 70% of all IT projects faced project delays. Furtheermore, 9.9% of every dollar spent on a project was lost because of inferior performance. Let’s visualize this better: for every $1 million invested, $99,000 is wasted! More mind-boggling data on project management failures can be found here.

While the numbers are emphatic, let’s face it – you aren’t really that surprised by these stats. What is even more stunning is that over the years the approach to IT project deployments has seen some major shifts, but the outcomes haven’t improved. For example, twenty years ago, the formula was to hire expensive project teams that were managed by the integrator’s external staff. Over the years, escalating costs led to a change in strategy. The preferred approach has become hiring project resources who are supervised by internal managers. Yet, failures continue to loom large.

What’s the problem? The same hurdles pop up time and time again:

  • scope creep and mid-project changes;
  • lack of communication among cross-functional teams;
  • lack of clearly defined goals;
  • unrealistic deadlines;
  • absence of accountability;
  • inadequate risk management;
  • budget issues;
  • shortage of project management practices and talent;
  • insufficient skills of team members.

In their efforts to tackle these challenges most project management publications highlight the importance of modern project management tools and frameworks. For sure, these methods have an important place in project implementations.

Benefits an External IT Program Manager Can Deliver to Your Organization

An IT Program Manager can play a critical role at the planning stage of defining an IT project based on your company’s most pressing needs and overall growth strategy. Usually, this person will possess a skill set that includes not only product know-how and pertinent experience, but also memory. The memory of lessons learned from failure that accumulate from spearheading similar projects over time. Steering you away from what NOT to do can actually be more valuable sometimes. Thee reason is that it can protect your organization from serious pitfalls, keep you on track with the budget, and save you a lot of headaches.

An experienced IT Program Manager can spot roadblocks and counteract adequately in a timely manner. They can also define and clarify the activities of every team member from the start. As a result, they will avoid frustrating conflicts due to miscommunication during the project implementation.

Another implicit benefit you get by engaging with an outside expert to oversee your IT project is that through them you get access to their vast network. This in turn will immediately mitigate or even fully eliminate another characteristic obstacle that hinders the successful implementation of complex IT projects – talent shortage.

In scenarios where the IT project is tied to a transformational change initiative, a trusted external advisor with a breadth of expertise in charge will add weight and overcome internal resistance. In addition, working side by side with an expert will allow the internal team to acquire knowledge and skills they would not have attained otherwise. They can apply that know-how in future endeavors. To sum it up, the knowledge transfer contract professionals at the management level bring to organizations is an advantage that often remains overlooked.

Final Thoughts on IT Program Management

If you are a growing business, a larger organization with multiple ongoing IT projects, or if your business processes need to be streamlined and optimized, having in place an IT Program Manager solely dedicated to these tasks is essential. Rather than burdening your internal managers with more responsibilities on top of their day-to-day duties, it might be wise to hire contract management staff to operate these programs. A seasoned IT program manager will ensure that your technology programs stay on track and achieve the business results you invested in without the traditional pitfalls that hinder IT project deployments.

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About Pete Kinkead

As Vice President of Services, Pete is at the helm of the iShift team of consultants responsible for delivering projects that make companies become more efficient, more competitive, and more innovative in a rapidly evolving environment. Following uncompromisingly his guiding principle of “Getting it right the first time” Pete often plays the role of an agent of change for his clients by directing them in their transformational undertakings. Follow Pete on LinkedIn.

About iShift

iShift is a multi-cloud technology solutions company that provides cloud engineering, cloud migration, cloud management and specialized IT staffing services. Our mission is to help businesses to simplify and accelerate growth while enabling digital transformation and IT modernization. No matter where organizations are in their cloud journey, iShift can design, build, optimize and manage a future-ready multi-cloud environment, resulting in significant cost savings, increased workforce productivity, operational resilience, continuity of services, and business agility. For more information on how our offerings empower businesses through their adoption of cloud and modern technology, visit