Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.
~Sir Winston Churchill
While Sir Winston Churchill was referring to war, his thoughts are accurate for IT System Introductions.
The notion of change failure is legendary, as is the volume of articles that follow IT failure. Ultimately, IT failures do not look back far enough into the project to determine the roots of failure.
Most IT projects are viewed as beneficial to the organization and likely to succeed. Yet, a major source of failure is often overlooked. Executives, overwhelmed with stars and dollar signs in their eyes, neglect the key thing that will make the project a success: “what are we getting ourselves into?” They neglect hard Due Diligence.
Thus, the missing component in large IT projects is a serious commitment to diagnosis, including diagnosis of (1) the magnitude of the change, (2) expectations of the change, (3) systems linking to a primary system [integrations] and (4) the pain of the ‘societal’ aspects of the project. I will take each of these in turn.