Mitigating Critical IT Project Risk

Large IT Projects are known to be difficult, over budget, overdue and not provide expected benefits

There are many challenges facing a business undertaking large, critical information technology projects. Such projects are known to result in less capability than expected and at a significantly greater cost. In hindsight, can be categorized into fundamental root causes:

• Estimates for costs, schedule and derived benefits are overly optimistic while risks are rarely considered or quantified.
• Project Scope may double or triple during the lifecycle of the project.
• Business logic inherent in legacy systems is often not well understood, thus delaying delivery.
• Cultural and skill requirements from radical changes to critical business processes require a longer period of adaptation than expected.
• And most importantly: senior management, although capable, did not have the time or previous experience needed for success.

Organizations need to closely manage these challenges in order to reap the maximum return from investments in information technology.

How can these risks be mitigated and the benefits obtained quickly?

It’s rare that the technology or solution is the wrong solution; it’s usually that the management team has not done this before and is “learning on the job”. Temporarily engaging managers during the transition or interims who have “been there and done that” successfully before can significantly improve project success and results. The right solution is to engage an Interim Executive who has a successful track record in managing complex business transitions across diverse corporate environments. Desired in this role are multi-faceted, hands-on and goal-oriented professional managers with experience both broad and deep. Their strong drive and initiative have helped companies achieve process cost reductions while reducing the cycle time of critical processes.

When the project is complete, the Interim Executive leaves an organization which has gained the skills and knowledge necessary to manage in the post-transition, stable environment. The organization has acquired new management skills while successfully completing a significant transition.

Significant transitions are geared to improve quality and flexibility of operations to gain improved customer satisfaction. We have managed successful project completions that enable organizations to grow at a greater rate than their legacy systems allowed.

We can assist in evaluation, prioritization and managing projects critical to the business, and which will provide the greatest return at the minimum risk. We leverage our years of experience in managing significant business transitions ranging from moderate to enterprise-wide endeavors, to maximize the return on your investment. Our associates have helped domestic and international companies achieve competitive advantages, cost savings, improved efficiency, raise quality, and reduced cycle time.

If you are undergoing a business transition, transformation or a technology refresh, the Deer Park Group can provide you with experienced leadership to enable you to meet your goals.

For more information about our Project and Program Management solution services, call 847-431-8349 or email us at

About the Author

Tom Murray

Tom Murray provides Interim CIO services for small and mid-sized organizations undergoing significant change due to business growth, merger & acquisition or company re-organization. Tom has over 25 years experience in Information Technology including IT leadership positions in Fortune 100 companies, CIO Consulting organizations and the SMB market.