By Ben Simmons

UK businesses are wasting valuable IT budget and resource by failing to set sufficient briefs for IT projects.

MSM Software conducted research among over 200 IT professionals involved in IT projects. The results show that two thirds of IT projects fail because the brief changes after the project has begun. In addition, two thirds of respondents said they have been involved in IT projects which have not been as successful as they could have been.

Despite IT budgets continuing to be constrained, meaning that when IT projects are given the go ahead it is even more imperative that they are made a success, still many are failing to set a sufficient brief to avoid failure.

Statistics from the British Computer Society show that between 1998 and 2005 across the European Union only one in eight IT projects were considered successful. The rest were cancelled, suffered significant cost or time overruns.

“Software projects are resource intensive and complex, and have a reputation for being both expensive and risky,” says Thomas Coles, managing director of MSM Software. “This reputation is all too often validated by an abundance of projects failing. Yet, the failure of an IT project due to a changing brief is completely avoidable.

“In my view, the success rate of IT projects would be significantly increased if businesses and suppliers worked more closely, and transparently, at the discovery phase of a project. By doing this, long-term business processes can be established and technology designed specifically to support the individual business requirements. Collaborative working in this way is fundamental as the success or failure of a software project can also determine the future (or failure) of a business.”

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