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Application Development: Rescuing a Failing Project, Part III — Reframing the Project

Application Development: Rescuing a Failing Project, Part III — Reframing the Project

This IDC study describes a method for reframing a failing application development project by applying the theory of constraints from lean manufacturing to identify and eliminate the project constraint. In Application Development: Rescuing a Failing Project, Part II Perform a Root Cause Analysis (June 2015), steps were defined to perform a root cause analysis (RCA) to identify project practices that are having the most damaging effects on a project. Together, these studies provide an actionable method for applying good practices from successful projects to replace the project constraint and put the project back on track.

Written for CIOs, project management executives, and line-of-business managers, this study and its companion documents provide essential guidance for dealing with the damaging effects of a failing project. They also provide a path for transforming the project management approach to one that not only accommodates change but uses failures as opportunities for driving a project toward the desired business objective.

"Successful software development projects seek opportunities to test project assumptions through frequent or continuous testing and deployments and are not deterred by unexpected results that might once have been viewed as project failure," says Susan Martin, adjunct advisor with IDC's Research Network. "Rather, such 'failures' are viewed as opportunities to continuously reframe the project based on constantly changing assumptions about the project, customers, and business objectives."

Please Note: Extended description available upon request.

IDC Opinion
In This Study
IT Executive Program Research Agenda
Situation Overview
Good Practices Found in Successful Projects
Focus on Business Objective
Plan Often or Continuously
Maintain a Project Backlog
Build Iteratively
Limit Work in Progress
Identify and Prioritize Issues as They Occur
Trust the Team
Eliminate Non-Value-Adding Activities
Eliminate or Reduce Handoffs
Reframing the Project
Root Cause: Large or Complex Project and/or Large Project Team
Root Cause: Lengthy Waterfall Approach with Detailed Requirements Projected over the Life of the Project
Root Cause: Complicated and Prescriptive Project Plan
Root Cause: Unengaged Business Owners
Root Cause: Ineffective Testing and/or Testing Left Until Late in the Project
Root Cause: A Focus on Project Plan Rather than Business Objective
Root Cause: Project Management Does Not Listen to the Development Team
Root Cause: Ineffective Issue Management
Root Cause: No Use of Services
Root Cause: Enterprise Policies and Mandated Procedures Impose Unnecessary Work or Delays
Future Outlook
Essential Guidance
Learn More
Related Research
Figure: IT Executive Program Research Agenda Themes

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