There are several excellent books that provide basic project management information. These books or similar ones were sufficient until IT charged into the business world. Generic approaches to project management (i.e., general tutorials on basic project management tools such as the work breakdown structure, network analysis, Gantt charts, and earned value) serve the general project management community well. With the emergence of IT, though, the literature has not kept pace, and project managers are desperately trying to apply the generic tools to IT with little or no success. The few authors who have attempted to fill the project management knowledge gap made progress but fell short. Today, most IT project management books only address the software development component of the information technology equation. The result is a significant step forward, but it fails to address IT as a system. There are two major problems at the root of IT project failures:
The management approach must be changed from old or traditional project management thinking, and IT has to be addressed as a total system.
This book defines IT to include not only computer technology, both the software and hardware components, but also the integration of these subsystems into a total, functional, and usable system. The total IT system will contain two or more of the following: software, hardware, communications, training, conversion or migration, and deployment of the system.
Managing an IT project means managing the total effort and ensuring that the various components integrate to produce the desired final product. Focusing on either one of these components exclusively is bound to end in failure. It also brings forth these questions: How does the current management approach differ from the old? What are the implications relative to organizational support?