It projects - Lumina Technologies

Why only a third of IT projects succeed

13 December 2016
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The latest and rather sobering industry statistics about IT projects show that 18% fail completely, 39% of them succeed, and 43% are only partially successful because they’re  either late, over budget, not completed to the agreed specifications, or a mixture of the three.

Interestingly, size does matter in these situations. Small IT projects (less than $1m) have a 76% success rate, with only 4% failure; whereas large IT projects (over $10m) have only a 10% success rate, with a massive 38% failure rate.

Why projects fail

In our experience, there are three main reasons for this:

1.The first is lack of management buy-in. If the key stakeholders aren’t fully engaged, they will not provide the impetus needed to make the project succeed. For example, if we are updating an accountancy package, we will need input from the accountancy team who will be using it. Unfortunately when it comes to testing the package on a parallel system which isn’t live, we are often told there isn’t enough time. If we don’t have the backing of management to make this happen, so we can make the necessary changes before it’s rolled out across the company, adequate testing simply doesn’t happen.

2.The second reason is that the client has unrealistic expectations of what the new system can do because they have given us insufficient information about what they need. In order to manage expectations and make sure we provide exactly what our clients need, we put a lot of effort into communication in the initial stages. Before we begin the work, we will always summarise (in plain English!) in our Statement of Work what we understand the desired outcome will be, and will clearly state how we will deliver it. We will also manage the client’s expectation about how the system will be tested and we agree with them the acceptance criteria. Typically, this exercise will take us between 5 and 10 hours’ work, but it is well worth it as it gives both parties a clear understanding of what we need to do in order to complete the project successfully.

3.The most common factor that delays projects is scope creep – where new criteria keep being added to the project as it progresses. In the past, we have tried to absorb these extra features as and when they occur, but experience has taught us that allowing scope creep to divert a project will inevitably end in the project’s failure in terms of time and budget.
If you allow scope creep to derail your project, it can delay it for so long that the technology becomes redundant before it’s ever had a chance to be used. The most disastrous and possibly most expensive example of this is the NHS’s computerised patient record system, which was abandoned in 2011 after years of scope creep at a loss of nearly £13 billion.

Eliminating scope creep

By using our own interpretation of a Prince2 framework, effectively keeping the best parts on control and planning whilst eliminating the burdensome administrative elements, combined with detailed requirement capturing we ensure that we can properly scope a project, communicate the outcomes to the client and control each stage to allow us to stay on track. Where requirements change during the lifecycle of a project, which inevitably does happen from time to time, we will work with the client stakeholders to determine if the changes can simply be included as an out-of-scope phase, whether a follow-on project needs to be initiated, allowing the original project to complete against the original requirements, or whether the project needs to be abandoned and a new project initiated. In this way we can mitigate the risks from scope creep at the same time as accommodating new requirements.

If you are planning a new IT project, contact us to make an appointment with one of our experienced experts.


What our customers say

Lumina Technologies have taken the time to understand the requirements of our business and work as our strategic IT partner, enabling us to concentrate on delivering a high quality service to our clients and focus on our growth strategy. They have delivered a 100% cloud solution to our business with no underlying infrastructure costs or maintenance, which gives us scalability for our planned growth. It also means our business critical applications and data are securely accessible from virtually all our user devices. Lumina’s professional approach and strategic expertise is highly valued and their management of our IT – based on their in-depth knowledge, leaves us confident that our systems are available 24×7.

Luke Harrison
Keidan Harrison LLP

Lumina have supported us so well through the difficult circumstances of 2020.  They worked extremely hard to ensure we were able to work remotely and continue to operate our business successfully. The support team are very friendly and knowledgeable, and have excellent response times.

The team have also enhanced our cyber security which is so important in the legal sector, and they continue to provide high quality advice to help us move forward with our IT goals.

Robin Illingworth
Managing Partner, Adams & Remers LLP

The quality of IT Support provided by Lumina Technology is of the highest standard and is complemented by effective client liaison with impressive response times. Trap Oil Group plc has no hesitation in recommending Lumina as a dedicated and specialist group of IT professionals.

Martin David
Technical Director, Trap Oil Group plc

Richard and his team are a real inspiration to anyone who meets them and I have watched Lumina’s growth over the last few years with interest and admiration. Richard has been an amazing supporter of the Hospice of St Francis, being a Gold member of the Corporate Partner Network for almost two years. He takes an active interest in the community and is passionate about his company and his town: nothing is too much trouble, he is always willing to help, to give up his time and to provide business advice when asked. Lumina is an inspiration to any company wanting to set up business in Hertfordshire.

Carolyn Addison
Corporate Fundraising Manager, The Hospice of St Francis

Lumina Technologies Prism Hosted Desktop has allowed our business to centralise our global corporate data, allowing much faster access for all our staff – regardless of their location. We have also been able to simplify and reduce our infrastructure and management overhead. With the new Prism Hosted Desktop solution all staff now have simple and secure access to corporate data using any device they choose. Prism Hosted Desktop has increased the productivity of our staff and given us a single, consistent and familiar experience for all users from any device, in any location, 24/7.

Katherine Roe
Chief Executive Officer, Wentworth Resources PLC

The commercially sensitive and regulated nature of Lambert Energy Advisory’s business requires an IT provider able to maintain the highest levels of integrity and confidentiality, Lumina Technologies has consistently been unimpeachable in this regard over the nine years we have employed them.

Patrick Agar
Lambert Energy Advisory

It has been a great pleasure working with Lumina Technologies over the past two years. They have fully committed to being involved in the local community with volunteering and with professional advice and commitment, helping many local charities along the way. As a growing company it proves that being involved in the local community is helping them attract and retain a talented workforce and I look forward to working with them well into the future.

Cindy Withey
Connect Dacorum

Hawkstone Management Services Ltd is a small company for which IT Outsourcing is realistically the only viable option. Lumina Technologies have successfully performed this role for over fifteen years. They also provide innovative solutions to keep pace with technological progress. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lumina to similar sized businesses.

Stephen Pembury
Hawkstone Management Services Ltd

Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP have been using Lumina Technologies for a number of years now and continue to be impressed by the technical know-how and contemporary knowledge of their senior management, who provide a timely, efficient and friendly service. Whether it is a small issue with one computer, or a strategic IT decision, they maintain a current knowledge of available technologies. Lumina are always at the other end of the phone to help resolve issues and minimise business interference. The technical knowledge of Richard and his senior team means that there has not been a problem that they can’t solve to date. I am sure we will continue to use them in the years to come.

Charles Douglas
Managing Partner, Charles Douglas Solicitors LLP

The team at Lumina Technologies have made the Amoun Travel & Tours office IT transition seamless and problem free. The office set-up has been vastly improved and the IT Support services are flawless. No issue goes unresolved, which is extremely reassuring.

Adam Helmy
Amoun Travel & Tours Ltd

Lumina Technologies has been Salamander Energy plc’s IT provider since start-up in 2005 and has supported us in London during our expansion across operational offices in SE Asia. Their professional approach, strategic advice and close co-operation have been essential in making this a success.

John Bell
Group Technical Director, Salamander Energy plc

Richard and his team at Lumina have provided Perrett Laver Limited with high quality strategic and practical IT Services for over ten years. During this period, Perrett Laver has grown from 10+ colleagues based in London to nearly 100 colleagues located in six offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Richard and the Lumina team have not just been responsive to our ‘everyday’ IT needs, but have proactively sought to work with us on developing an infrastructure suitable for the type of operation we are today, and are planning to be months and years down the line. I would not hesitate to recommend Richard, especially for small to medium size business with growth in mind.

Clementine McKinley
COO, Perrett Laver Limited

Society Limited has been supported by Lumina Technologies since our earliest start-up phase. From large logistical challenges like an office move, through to smaller fiddly issues like fixing a faulty e-template, we know we can count on their support and advice. They’ve also been able to engage with us strategically on the challenge of scaling-up our infrastructure as the firm continues to grow and evolve. We always feel confident going to Lumina with a problem, since we know they genuinely care about sorting things out and helping us to get on with our core business.

Simon Lucas
Managing Director, Society Limited

The Vita Group HQ staff have worked with Richard McBarnet and Lumina Technologies for over 9 years, with Lumina providing all our PC, server, phone, and software support. The services have included C-level executives based in London, Manchester, the US, as well as supporting home office IT as well. The service provided and intellectual capabilities are outstanding and we would highly recommend Richard and his Lumina team.

Joe Menendez
CEO, The Vita Group

We worked with Lumina on a GDPR Audit. Richard was knowledgeable and professional throughout, and did the best he could to bring a dry topic to life through lots of real life examples and analogies. We were so impressed with the service Lumina provided and the value we got from partnering with them on this project – we couldn’t recommend them enough.

Holly Cottingham, Vintec Laboratories

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