Business Leadership for IT Projects

Gary Lloyd

Published by

Gower

ISBN

9781409456902

RRP

£49.50

Reviewed by

A P Sutcliffe, P G Dip, MBCS

Score

8 out of 10

IT projects have a poor reputation. Much of the research shows that they take longer to complete than is planned, are more expensive than budgeted for and often fail to achieve the specific goals of the project.

There is a considerable body of written work analysing the reasons for IT project failures; and these generally contain much advice on how to better manage these projects and to avoid the more common causes of failure.

This book argues that most IT projects are usually part of a larger business improvement scheme, and that the failures in the project are seldom down to technical problems with the hardware or the software aspects.

It then goes on to offer advice for the business managers, with a view to providing a structured framework that could be used in most circumstances. It suggests that using this methodology will make it easier for the business manager to control a project and ensure that it meets the stated goals.

The book itself is well written, with a structure that makes it easy to read through, or to find a section relevant to the particular needs of the moment. Much of the material that it contains is based upon what is generally agreed is good management and successful project control.

The format is slightly less formal, making it easier to read than many other similar books on the topic, and it has a number of useful bullet point lists to allow the reader to absorb the key points more quickly.

It makes use of some interesting examples to highlight important aspects of project management, showing that the same processes can be used in very different projects across a wide range of business sectors.

It also goes into some depth on the ways to create a business case argument suitable for presentation to the various stakeholders and also how to present the budget figures in a more effective manner in order to show the real value of the project.

Generally, I found it to be a good read with much to commend it to the business manager. However, although there was a considerable amount of reference to other material to justify the comments made,

I found several statements that were placed in the text without any argument or justification - almost as if the author felt that the point was so clear that it needed no validation. Although I agreed with many of the views expressed, I did feel that this was a slight weakness in the overall value of the book.

However, it is a solid piece of work, offering good counsel on effective project management for the average business leader; and it might be of value to those that have had limited IT project experience.

Further information: Gower

October 2013