Le projet de numérisation menace d’échouer ? – 5 étapes simples pour un redressement

A quoi sont dus les échecs des projets de numérisation et comment peut-on reconnaître un échec à temps ?

Les projets de numérisation ont une complexité énorme qui doit être gérée. Aucune technologie ou modèle de données ne peut gérer cette complexité aussi bien que l’homme lui-même. Mais pour cela, l’homme doit bien fonctionner au sein d’une équipe. Dans cet article, vous découvrirez les raisons pour lesquelles les projets de numérisation échouent la plupart du temps, comment vous pouvez reconnaître un échec à temps et comment vous pouvez faire en sorte que votre projet ne soit pas interrompu en suivant cinq étapes simples.


I sometimes hear that most digitization projects (article on this subject:  Digitization guide for decision-makers – More clarity in practice ) are just disguised IT projects anyway, as they were carried out already 20 or 30 years ago. These same people then always assure me that it is quite normal that only a fraction of the scope of functions can be implemented. Exactly. The only thing that such project actors generate are unstable projects, on the verge of failure.

In this article, I want to highlight how you can recognize a troubled project in time and how you can quickly reverse course and turn the situation around. I could talk about many topics. Data models, systems architecture, User Stories, Agile project development, technologies, etc. But I only focus on the people involved. Because this is where the greatest lever for the success of the project is hidden. This is also the big difference compared to the good old IT projects of the 2000s and earlier. The man was generally not the focus. It was about software, functions, technology. And the rest of the energy was still wasted in project management.

Unfortunately, many digitization projects still fail, which costs companies, especially German ones, dearly. This is why we will now look at the most important early indicators in such projects.

Why digitization projects find themselves at odds

It should be clear to everyone that digitization projects are not self-evident. And yet, it is possible to strongly influence the success or failure of a project. We must not forget that most of the time, it is the man who is at the origin of the failure of a project.

The most important factors are:

  1. Inexperienced teams
  2. Bad communication
  3. Underestimated complexity

Inexperienced teams are a big factor of uncertainty. Most of the time, these project teams are selected first based on their availability and then on their skills. Because who does not know: even in companies with 500 to 1,500 employees, it is generally the same faces that we look at when starting a new project. It is obvious that these teams cannot overflow with experience. If you don’t have anyone who can build and lead such a team in a very short time, you’ll have a short-term problem.

The second factor is poor communication. Here again, the human factor is decisive. The type and nature of the communication that takes place in your company about your digitization project can be easily identified and inferred from the communication within the project team. If the team communicates badly, the communication to the outside cannot be better.

The third factor where digitization projects can end up in bad shape is due to poor complexity assessment. It is almost irrelevant which of your business processes you want to digitize, you usually have interfaces in almost every business area of ​​your company. Finance, management control, purchasing, storage logistics, HR, value creation. They are all involved most of the time. If you misjudge this complexity, you and your project team will simply be overwhelmed.

There are, of course, other influencing factors that can falter projects of this type. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments. I’m sure you can help someone else that way.

How to recognize in time the difficulties of your project?

To go deeper and show what you can do to turn your project around, we need to once again look into the causes in more detail. The appearance of the following points is a sure sign that your project is about to go wrong or that it is on the right track.

1. No common goal

If you and your team don’t have a clear idea of ​​what you want to achieve together, how can other stakeholders know? External service providers, your own employees, your own IT department and your specialist services. They all depend on the information provided by the project team. If conflicting information comes from there, no common path can be traced. Listen to your organization early and regularly. Is everyone on their way to a goal?

2. No commitment within the team

« Yes I will do it ! » They wait for the tasks to be done. And on time. But if there is no common goal, the team’s commitment cannot increase. It is obvious that there will be less and less commitment within the team, which will significantly reduce the speed and quality of work. Everything will end soon.

3. No culture of conflict

If you notice within the team that underlying conflicts are bubbling up, but no one is talking about them, be warned. The balance within the team is then no longer correct. And that rarely goes well. Or have you ever seen a car win a race with three tires?

4. No Trust

All the ingredients are now together. If there is no common goal, there cannot be strong commitment within the team. Team performance declines. If there is no commitment, there cannot be a culture of conflict. The lack of confidence is then not very far away. The team is suspicious of each other. A downward spiral sets in, which hardly produces usable results anymore. The project begins to falter.

5. Extraneous noise increases.

Be ready for anything now! This should never have happened, but in the meantime pay special attention to what is happening outside of the project. Because one thing is clear. Just as the success of a project is not hidden, the failure becomes visible to others. Thus, other projects suddenly become more of a priority, resources gradually become scarce for everyone and the major milestones are often not reached. It is high time to fix it.

What you can do now

After realizing that your project has found itself in a difficult situation, you must act quickly and thoughtfully. I have listed the steps for you and briefly described them.

1. Brake, pull over, exit the vehicle

The most important thing now is to keep calm. Step on the brake and take a break with your team from the daily activities of the project. Create the space for your team to know that they need a trend reversal in the meantime to be able to continue.

2. State of play and target image

Now analyze in workshops (eg with a retrospective) the reasons why you need to get out of a difficult situation. Be honest with each other and appreciate each other. Also consider things that have worked well so far. You will definitely find something. Based on this, develop a common goal. What do you want to achieve? What needs to improve after scanning? Feel free to be more concrete. This is not just an unattainable vision.

3. Team management

Look at your team and analyze what your team is missing. Are there any significant unresolved conflicts? Are the resources sufficient? Is the team too small or even too big? Make the right decisions in a timely manner and ensure that your team is as passionate about the success of the project as you are.


Put your communication back on a new footing. Internal project team communication, like communication with stakeholders, is important and a success factor. Don’t underestimate this point. Ensure regular communication adapted to the target group. This creates transparency and transparency reassures and motivates everyone involved.

5. Management control

Track your development. For this you do not need a complicated mathematical construction. Focus on the results to be achieved. How can you express these results in numbers? How do you make these numbers interpretable into easy-to-understand key performance indicators ( KPIs )?

If it’s all for nothing

Do yourself, your team and your business a favor. If all measures fail, consider abandoning the project. It is better to end with horror than endless horror.

This will increase your credibility as a competent manager within the company and, therefore, the chances that the next project will also be entrusted to you.

Stopping a project has many facets. Planning errors are among the most common causes. So don’t let your company’s innovation capacity and digital transformation fail by riding a dead horse.

Conclusion on the recovery of digital projects

Typically, projects are challenging. Digitization projects are even more likely to fail due to their high complexity. So if you find yourself again in a situation where you notice that something is wrong with your digitization project, but you cannot yet back up your intuition precisely with figures, data and facts, take this article into consideration. hand and check calmly and calmly where your project is

Francesco ist seit 2011 Unternehmer und Unternehmensberater und hat schon Prozesse digitalisiert, als die Digitalisierung noch einen Exotenstatus hatte. Für ihn sind die Menschen und die Simplifizierung Erfolgsfaktoren bei der Umsetzung. Seine Spezialität liegt in der Digitalisierung der Auftragsmanagementprozesse für dezentral organisierte Service-Unternehmen.

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