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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another International Evaluation, Another Pathetic Failing Grade for Putin's Russia

CNet reports on yet more humiliating failure for Russia when judged by international experts:

Only 4% of the IT-projects in Russia are finished in time. According to the mentioned index our country is practically the last. Experts point out to some peculiarities, which do not allow the Russian companies to finish the projects in time.

According to the research, carried out not long ago by Hewlett-Packard and Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) analysts, Europe is the first in the world by the IT-personnel irresponsibility. In case of delay in the projects’ launch 51% of IT-personnel is not afraid of problems with the managerial authorities. The leaders are Sweden (44%), Switzerland (22%), Czechia (20%), Germany (19%) and Denmark (16%). 1125 specialists worldwide have been questioned.

According to EIU analysts, outsourcing, shifting the accents midway, and lack of managerial coordination are the three main reasons for the IT-project completion delay. According to Russian experts, the IT-personnel responsibility for the project success in Russia is neither higher nor lower than in Europe. While in Russia several other reasons are usually added to the mentioned ones.

“In most cases the projects are launched under the conditions of absolute unreadiness on the part of constituency and transparency of the automated processes, - Alisa Melnikova, Financial Organizations Cooperation Manager of ISG says. – Under the mentioned conditions it is difficult to determine the criteria of the project successful implementation, and it is being run till the absolute budget exhaustion. Besides, the Russian market is in the early stage of development, so the surrounding is changing in Russia faster. If a large project is planned, then it is evident from the beginning, the priorities are to be changed regularly”.

According to Sergey Zakhartsev, Miel Holding IT-Department Director one of the main conditions for not finishing the projects in time in Russia results from the project’s outline being very general and the absence of adequate understanding how to achieve the goal. “When the project is being initiated, its aims, tasks, and expected results are being determined, the project management does not think of the technical ways of solving the problems”, - Mr. Zakhartsev says. Andrey Badin, Director of the Project Management Outsourcing Department of PM Expert agrees to the mentioned point of view. “In most cases the reason for the failure to finish the project on time is in ineffective supervision, beginning with the project initiation. The project context is not determined precisely and can be changed significantly within its implementation. However, the allocated finance in most cases is not enough to sustain the mentioned changes”.

The absent or ineffective risk management, according to Mr. Badin, results in the failure to finish the project on time because of long-term effects mitigation. “Besides, the IT-project manager is not usually a professional project manager, but the company’s IT-specialist, aimed at quality at the expense of dates and budget”. Sergey Zakhartsev considers outsourcers as a rule give any promises easily, believing the main thing is to get the project and then they will see what to do. While implementing a project at their own expense, they rely on impunity, as they are not strangers to the company, ordering a project. “So if real technical problems arise their settlement takes much more time than it is planned, - Mr. Zakhartsev says. – Finally, a lot of time is spent either to look for the necessary solution, or to improve the project target. So the terms of the project implementation enhance by 80-300%”.

Andrey Badin sees the way out of the existing situation through handing IT-project management for outsourcing. “For example, in the US, according to The Center for Business Practices data, 39% of companies constantly use the project management outsourcing. Wile the join report of Hewlett-Packard and Economist Intelligence Unit points out the strictest requirements to the project implementation are in the North America”, - the expert summarizes.

Not to prolong large IT-projects implementation, Alisa Melnikova, ISG employee advises to divide the projects into shorter phases, estimate the achieved results and improve the project plan correspondingly. “In such a case one can adhere to the mentioned development direction and achieve long-term goals”.

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