Fail to succeed: you’re not alone!

For the oldest amongst us, seeing a blue screen was not only a source of intense stress but the signal to reboot. Even though operating systems are now better at communicating these situations, one must recognize that anyone working in technology, especially in leading-edge fields, must deal with failure. Far from simply being an indicator of the professionalism of the experts working on it, the results of an IT project can just as well be a consequence of internal and external factors, of governance issues or even of a small human error with large repercussions. While analytics may be the vector of change for organisations, avoiding failures, be they small or large, is a sizeable challenge.

The CIO and the entire IT team of an organisation are perfectly positioned within many companies to solve the issues and increase the performance of their business units. Whether the goal is to expedite the delivery of a project or to highlight the size of a business unit using a new analysis, there are many actions that play a central role in insuring an organisation’s success. At the heart of digital transformation, in times where many decisions are rapidly taken, the pressure is high for BI professionals to deliver the goods.

From the architecture to change management, from the code to the software, from the use of external expertise to the support of leadership, the factors of success (and of failure!) of large BI projects are plentiful, interlinked and volatile. While many in the organisation mistakenly believe that everything can be fixed at the press of a button, the reality is very different. It is therefore important to manage everyone’s expectations, which obviously does not knock out the enormous pressure to succeed!

Beyond the technical difficulty, there is so much more. When the value of the POC (proof of concept) has been proven, the solution remains to be implemented and measures need to be put in place to maximise the benefit for the organisation. Afterwards, the most crucial steps take place: implementation, acceptance by the end users, integration into daily operations, and measurement of success. Then, we repeat the process. Again and again.

In essence, talking about technologies, particularly the implementation of new analytical tools, undeniably means to also discuss change management, but especially it implies more concrete matters… such as people and their ways of working. With that in mind, it is not surprising to come across so many failed projects… from which lessons must be learnt. This is why Datavore promotes learning through the experience of your industry peers.



Since 1994, the Standish Group publishes the Chaos Report, an annual report on the software industry. Although results differ from year to year, the success rate of a software project remains approximately 29%. This does not mean that 71% of projects are complete failures, simply that a bit less than one project out of three delivers on all its goals and respects its constraints. Unsurprisingly, the ‘’performance’’ is higher in smaller projects for which there is a greater probability of success.

Whilst failure has democratised itself, tongues have untied and many entrepreneurs, consultants and analytics professionals avec opened up about the reasons for which one project did not fulfill its objectives or another managed to confront its demons. During the 2019 edition of Datavore, the panel created by the organising committee will explore reasons for which projects fail and succeed, amongst other topics. This is an opportunity to learn and benefit from the experiences of professionals at GSOFT, Hydro-Quebec, the National Bank of Canada and AgileDSS, to ensure your own project is a success.

For more information, visit the Expert Zone page!



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