CA: Don't be afraid to pull the plug on failing IT projects


Some CIOs become so emotionally attached to IT projects they refuse to kill them off even if they are running over time or budget.

This is the view of Jacqueline de Rojas, vice president and general manager for the UK and Ireland at CA Technologies.

If you name your IT project after your child, that's a bad idea.

Speaking to IT Pro at the software giant's CA Expo show in central London yesterday, she said businesses need to become more dispassionate where IT is concerned.

"Just one in seven IT projects are killed off because people become emotionally or politically attached to them," said de Rojas.

"[People should not] be afraid to say, this project is not going in the right direction and is not giving us the return on invest we want,' so let's end it."

To make this process easier, de Rojas said IT workers should shy away from naming projects after things they hold dear.

"If you name your project after your child, that's a bad idea," she said. "If you look at the names given to projects, you'd be surprised how many of them are named after something people have an emotional attachment to."

However, with CFOs and CEOs taking more of a lead now on IT projects, mainly for austerity purposes, this is becoming less of an issue, she admitted.

"Tech people have to respond to the board and have to be able to show a good, quick return on investment.

"It is hard to show an ROI outside of an extended period these days. If it gives them a good return on investment within a year, they will invest," she added.

This CFO-led approach will stand firms in good stead during the recession and beyond, she said.

"When we come out of the recession, and I don't think it will be soon, but I think the austerity measures companies have introduced and the good business practices they have developed won't change," she added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.