Why New Systems Fail by Phil Simon - Book review

Why New Systems Fail

An Insider's Guide to Successful IT Projects

By: Phil Simon

Published: February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback, 351 pages
ISBN-10: 1435456440
ISBN-13: 978-1435456440
Publisher: Course Technology PTR

"Although the specifics vary quite a bit based on the industry, the type and scope of the new system, many system failures have similar root causes, issues, costs, and ultimately, consequences", writes technology consultant, speaker, and thought leader Phil Simon, in his landmark and very hands on book Why New Systems Fail: An Insider's Guide to Successful IT Projects. The author describes the major causes of new information technology (IT) system failures, and provides strategies for preventing problems at any point during or after system implementation.

Phil Simon understands that many companies lack the knowledge or information necessary for planning, purchasing, installing, operating, and maintaining a new or replacement IT system. While the author points out that many of the more specific causes of disappointment and breakdown may vary from industry to industry, the same basic issues are common to most unsatisfactory implementations. Phil Simon delves into the real root causes of problems that create and stem from even the most seemingly well planned and timed system activations. The author shares his considerable experience in all aspects of IT system implementation from the initial planning stages, through selection and installation, training and responsibility of staff, long term maintenance, and eventual replacement.

Phil Simon (photo left) offers a viable and pragmatic approach to implementing a new IT system, either as an initial venture or as a replacement for an existing legacy system. The author understands the critical importance of planning a strategy for purchasing, establishing, operating, and maintaining a system prior to taking action. Without appropriate planning in place, even top quality and well suited systems can result in breakdown and eventual failure.

Phil Simon offers insights into the four most common sources of failure and how to mitigate their inherent problems:

* The unmitigated disaster
* The big failure
* The mild failure
* The forthcoming failure

For me, the power of the book is how Phil Simon combines a theoretical analysis of the causes and consequences of IT system failure, with some very practical and real world based strategies and solutions to achieve a successful system implementation. The author guides business leaders, decision makers, and system users through the entire process from the planning stage to the eventual long term replacement with another new system.

Phil Simon not only addresses the technical aspects of an IT installation project from a project management perspective, but also examines and shares ideas for working effectively with the people involved in the process. All too often, people are left out of the process, and Phil Simon includes leaders, IT personnel, and other managers in the entire event from the very beginning. The author also shares some helpful case studies, that illustrate the principles offered in the book, to demonstrate the strategies at work in the real world.

I highly recommend the definitive and must read book Why New Systems Fail: An Insider's Guide to Successful IT Projects by Phil Simon, to anyone in any industry who is considering the installation of a first IT system, or the replacement of an existing legacy IT system. This book will help business leaders, decision makers, and staff people navigate the entire implementation process, and to avoid the all too frequent sources of failure that have derailed even the most well planned implementations.

Read the essential and proven strategy packed book Why New Systems Fail: An Insider's Guide to Successful IT Projects by Phil Simon, and discover how to plan and put a successful and reliable IT system into action in your organization. This book will not only demonstrate the right way to instal and implement a great IT system, but will help you to avoid the mistakes that cause current and future disasters as well.

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