Most Technology Projects Fail. What is Your Data Management Plan?

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The failure rate for technology projects continues to be over 50%, and some estimate it’s even higher. While that statistic may or may not surprise you, what will surprise you is how much data management strategy (or lack thereof) contributes to that failure rate, directly or indirectly. People blame what they can see, and because poor data management happens behind the scenes, it is often a silent killer.

Many projects start out without any data management plan whatsoever; and, once the system goes live, data management falls on either the application developers or the operations/support people, growing organically without any long-term plan. The project suffers as a result.

In a recent study, the Capability Maturity Model Institute (CMMI) found that data management played a part in 100% of the technology failures surveyed. It probably isn’t quite that high in reality, but poor data management does often masquerade as other problems, including scope creep, poor technology choices, poor planning, etc. Even if we play devil’s advocate and assume one of these other factors is the main cause of a technology project failure, further analysis will often reveal poor data management as a significant underlying contributor to that cause. Perhaps you could have done a better job planning if you had a better …

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