Here are some typical scenarios that may occur throughout IT projects:
- The launch date for the project is determined by someone in the senior most levels of the organization or government with virtually no understanding of the technology or the risks. The date is picked based upon personal or political reasons, often with little regard for what is realistically possible.
- If information is needed to support the decision for the launch date, it is not obtained from consultants or experts in the field. Rather, it is provided by companies that expect to be contractors on the project and receive large contracts. The cost and schedule are grossly underestimated to guarantee winning part of the contract, and knowing that problems will appear in the future.
- When problems arise, the solution is almost always resolved through scope changes that result in mega profits for the contractors. The work is documented in such a way that it is cheaper for the client to agree to scope changes to the existing contractors than to go out for competitive bidding and find replacement contractors where the same problems will occur again… and again… and again.
- The senior management who picked the original launch date immediately distance themselves from the project and make sure there are several layers of management between them. Therefore, they cannot be blamed for any of the issues or problems that may arise.
- Senior management immediately states that they were never informed of the risks or the technical issues. These comments are often well-supported by the two or three layers of management beneath the executives because they prefer to remain employed.