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Why do IT projects fail?



“Large IT projects often cost companies millions. And in the end they fail because of intrigues of their own employees”, the Süddeutsche Zeitung currently reports. A topic that is not new and yet explosive.

The article shows that a long list of failed major projects – even in well-known companies – has been lined up in recent years. One example is the planned introduction of a new merchandise management system at Lidl. After devouring more than half a billion euros in seven years of preparation, it became clear during implementation that “the SAP version developed by a good 100 IT specialists was not suitable for high-turnover countries. The Otto Group has set another example. It stopped the “biggest IT project in history” in 2012 after three years. The goal was to centralize the complex application landscape using SAP standard software, but the project “turned into a tale of woe and cost a double-digit million euro amount.

Customer orientation is the key

One reason why such projects are wrongly positioned is that a small concept team is developing the future standard solution at the green table. This is proven by a study of the software provider Alfabet. “According to the study, more than 70 percent of IT decision-makers in Germany have experienced at least once that business-critical measures fail because those involved were unaware of decisions made by other parts of the company …”.

However, the lack of involvement of specialist departments and users is only one reason why IT projects are not successful. Tobias Mirwald, Managing Director of ADITO Software, lists seven reasons for the failure of CRM projects in an article that can be transferred 1:1 to all IT projects. As a further reason Tobias Mirwald names false expectations of the companies regarding the project. Software is not the panacea, he says, but rather an instrument for implementing corporate strategy. Behind it is a philosophy towards more customer orientation as well as efficient processes – and that starts in the head.

Neutral consulting pays off

He’s not alone in this. As described in the article “Does the use of MarTech or CRM software solve strategy problems? Because: “It doesn’t help to accelerate if you’re going in the wrong direction.” To know where to go, the company needs a target group strategy. In addition, the company management should know what its future business models will look like. Only then can the software be adapted to the company processes. It can also be said: “A CRM software implementation requires a CRM strategy as a basis” or “One swallow doesn’t make a summer, one software doesn’t make a strategy”.

According to Tobias Mirwald, other mistakes are not clearly defining the requirements for the CRM solution and skipping the test phase before going live. An external consultant can help with the former. Or as we say: “Neutral consulting always pays off before a software decision is made”.

Just how important testing is became clear at DMEXCO, among others. There, for example, Optimizely showed how testing provides information about current customer wishes and expectations and enables companies to align themselves accordingly. Because not every target group demands the latest technology. Those who find this out as early as possible can apply the brakes in good time.

Stay tuned

In addition, the company makes mistakes when it lets the new solution rust and the project team disintegrates after going live, Tobias Mirwald aptly put it. Companies are required to permanently develop the solution further, to continuously ensure quality and to train users regularly. Because: “Only intensive and constantly repeated training gives wings to software usage”, as our postcard illustrates.

So if you are planning new investments in your IT, take these tips into account – and contact us! We will be happy to provide you with professional support.


Note: This is a machine translation. It is neither 100% complete nor 100% correct. We can therefore not guarantee the result.



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