Why now for Internet project management?

Why now for Internet project management?

Have you noticed all the attention going to project management these days? I don't mean that more and more people are using software like Microsoft Project, although I suppose they are. No, all of a sudden it seems that you can't turn around without running into a new software package for managing projects and the requirements for systems.

I started hearing from software companies a few months ago. They would call with stories of a new package designed to keep up with the changing requirements of large software projects. Now, I've worked on large projects and I'm all in favour of tools that help you keep track of the changes that inevitably occur, but why now? Before I could look seriously for an answer, something even more curious came across my desk.

I read a lot of magazines. That's not surprising - most people in IT read a lot of magazines. In one of my favourites recently there was a long article on methods for keeping up with the changing requirements of large software projects. A subtle pattern begins to form.

But why now? I finally got my first real answer in a conversation with the new president of Primix, an Internet services firm in Boston.

He told me that the failure rate of e-commerce initiatives was in the neighborhood of 85 per cent. I don't know how "failure" is defined to reach that number, but it's a stunning number regardless of the precise methodology.

If his information is correct (and I have absolutely no reason to doubt it), then the question isn't so much why we're seeing project requirement software now, but why anyone is still in business.

Here's a question for you: are you

using software to deal with the complexity of e-commerce projects?

If so, did you buy it or write it? If not, how are you keeping up with the amazing tangle of shifting requirements in a large, complex project?

Drop me a line at curtis_franklin@ to tell me what you're doing.

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