Information technology projects are well known for the risk of unsuccessful completion. A 2004 report by the Standish Group indicated that only 29% of IT projects succeed. Of the remainder 18% fail outright and 53% fail to meet expectations by exceeding timelines or budgets, or by failing to deliver the required functionality.
The Standish Group has published the top ten criteria for successful projects:
1. User involvement
2. Executive management support
3. Clear statement of requirements
4. Proper planning
5. Realistic expectations
6. Smaller project milestones
7. Competent staff
9. Clear vision and objectives
10. Hard-working, focused staff
The issue of project management in eHealth is directly linked to yesterday's discussion of program management. Rarely will a project stand on its own. eHealth is implemented into a complex environment that will require a range of interventions to succeed. These other interventions may include business and clinical process re-engineering, changes in job function, new skills development and cultural change. As a result, an eHealth program may involve a number of projects each of which should be considered in the project risk analysis.
Worthy of note is the top reason for project success (or failure if it is missing): user involvement which we know to be a continuing issue in the development of eHealth systems and infrastructure.