The end of February / beginning of March is a time when the meteorological winter ends, and spring begins. For most of us, it is also a time when our New Year’s Resolutions are firmly on the rubbish heap, with the hope and energy of a new-year-new-you now a distant memory.

This isn’t just theory, either, as research has found that by this time of the year, 80 percent of New Year’s Resolutions have failed.

This carries over into our professional lives too, and into the projects that we are involved with. Just like realising we are not going to achieve our New Year’s Resolutions, it is common during the period at the end of February and the beginning of March to realise that technology projects have lost traction and are beginning to stall.

It’s human nature.

But unchecked, your project that is currently losing momentum could end up being one of the 70 percent-plus of technology projects that fail.

“Beware the ides of March.”

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

In William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Julius Caesar, a conversation involving Caesar, Brutus, and a soothsayer is dramatized. The soothsayer warns Caesar to “Beware the ides of March”.

In ancient Rome, “ides” was a term to describe the 15th day of a month, so the ides of March is the 15th of March. That is the day Caesar, the great Roman emperor, was assassinated by members of the Roman senate, including Brutus.

Today, the phrase “beware the ides of March” is used as a warning of impending doom.

So, should you “beware the ides of March” in your technology project?

Correlation Between Stalled IT Projects and Failed New Year’s Resolutions

According to research by McKinsey, the three main reasons for failure in technology projects are:

  • Resourcing issues
  • Misaligned culture and ways of working
  • Lack of core competencies

We don’t fail in our New Year’s Resolutions because we don’t have enough resources or subject matter experts (SMEs), but we do fail because we take on too much, we think too big, and the expectations of our capabilities are unrealistic.

Our reasons for New Year’s Resolutions are also often misaligned. For example, why commit to going to the gym four times a week when you hate going to the gym? The real reason for the resolution is to get healthier and fitter, so do something that achieves this goal that you also enjoy.

Understanding the reasons why our personal New Year’s Resolutions fail can help with the process of getting new technology projects and initiatives back on track.


Regaining the Momentum

There are three steps we recommend to correct the issues that are holding back your IT project and help you regain momentum (the same steps can also be applied to New Year’s Resolution initiatives).


Acknowledge There is a Problem

Admitting there is a problem is a difficult but necessary first step, as it is common to continue trying to get through. There can also be concerns around keeping the peace and avoiding blame.

Blame should not be the focus as the cause is likely to be multifactorial. Instead, energies should be focused on “righting the ship” to get the project back to where it needs to be. That starts by acknowledging there is a problem and committing to its resolution.


Address Cultural Misalignment Issues

Cultural misalignment issues can be resolved through change management. Key elements in successful change management strategies include:

  • Buy-in from senior executives, with that buy-in clearly visible throughout the organisation
  • Defining success to ensure everyone is on the same page and ROI can be accurately measured
  • Enhanced communication at all levels, particularly with users with that communication including soliciting user feedback, ideas, concerns, and suggestions.


Address Resource and Core Competency Problems

Addressing resource and core competency problems should not involve simply throwing additional money at the issue. There should instead be a structured approach and strategy that utilises best practices and the latest technologies.

For example, automation solutions can help to solve many resource issues, especially on large IT projects. Take app repackaging as an example, as it is a common feature of many large technology projects, including operating system upgrades and VDI migrations.

Manually repackaging the thousands of apps that are in use in your organisation is a huge strain on your IT resources. Automating the process using a solution like Access Capture not only frees up your IT team, but can also resolve the main resource issues of the project overall.

You can also bring in external (SMEs) to augment your team and plug internal competency gaps. We can again use Access IT Automation as an example, as we have SMEs on our team that can supercharge your technology projects and get them back on track for success.

Accelerating to Success

So, in summary, “beware the ides of March”, focus on small and achievable changes in your personal life rather than big-bang New Year’s Resolutions, and take action now to get your stumbling technology projects back on track.

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