Top 5 Reasons Why Implementation Initiatives Fail
Daniel Waugh Technology Consultant
What Is The Main Reason Why Implementation Initiatives Fail?


For any organisation, implementation of a new tool, process or discipline, such as Technology Business Management, is a big challenge. Enacting change on a large scale requires proactively confronting issues of people, culture, data quality and accountability. There are hurdles at every turn. According to Gartner 2018, two thirds of change initiatives fail to achieve or sustain their results. This article will serve as a guide on how to approach each issue and provides examples of how StrataPrime has helped its clients solve each of these problems.

1. Lack of engagement horizontally across all stakeholder groups

An IT initiative may permeate many different areas of the business and affect people across all levels, including stakeholders who are outside of your authority. In order to win support, you need the people involved to not only approve but to vocalise their support. To achieve this, you need to enact effective change management.

This starts with identifying the full scope of stakeholders that are impacted by the initiative, some of which will be on-board and some will need help realising the value. It is important here not only to communicate value but to engage. There is an important distinction between the two. Instead of trying to ‘sell’ the initiative, which doesn’t work in most cases and actually sews seeds of quiet distrust, you need to consult these groups and invite them to the table to have their voices heard. This is the only way they’ll feel like they were decision-makers in the process.

You should also identify your informal leaders across the organisation; people who may not necessarily be managers but who nonetheless inspire pride and confidence and will champion your initiative. Once again, these people will not be cold-selling; they will be driving conversation and inclusivity.

The StrataPrime solution
  • The StrataPrime 7 Cost-Value Lever model takes a cross-functional approach, developing forums which bring together different teams and departments, allow cohesive decision-making. As a result, there has been a step change in engagement across Procurement, IT Finance, Architecture, etc.
2. Lack of accountability for specific actions during implementation

Assuming you have engaged them effectively and they realise the value their involvement will bring, your people will be motivated to do their part. The overall success of the change will be determined by the results of the individual actions of each person involved. However, without understanding their clear-cut responsibilities in the programme, individuals won’t know how to measure their progress and goals will not be met. To drive ownership, robust governance frameworks and disciplined processes need to be built into the initiative. In order to ensure targets are being met, team members should be given specific, measurable KPIs to track themselves to.

The StrataPrime solution
  • At a recent client, StrataPrime set up a Contracts Chamber to improve the SRM contract renewal process. There was a lack of ownership over the budget and renewal of contracts by contract owners, and in some cases, contracts had no owners. The new process provided a forum for service owners, budget holders, supplier managers and IT leadership to make an informed decision on the renewal of assets. Failure to participate meant termination of the contract. Furthermore, service owners were tracked against their SLA renewal time in days. The subsequent months saw a marked reduction in the number of overdue contracts as well as renewal times.
3. Information and data silos hindering cohesive decision-making

It is vital you make visibility and measurability a core tenet of your initiative, but in practically every organisation, data quality issues affect and hinder transformation. Data silos are often a major hindrance to productivity and are ultimately costly due to the time they consume.

You’ll firstly need to layout the questions you want your programme reports to answer, and then figure out which of these questions your data can currently answer. Usually, you’ll find that data will be spread across disparate sources and information will be stuck under the possession of disconnected stakeholder groups.

To combat this, your initiative should work across a number of workstreams in which data is captured and analysed through a unique, cross-functional lens. Regular forums between stakeholder groups highlight risks and issues, such as lack of data. There should also be an established procedure for storing data so that employees know exactly where to store and where to find data. Once data exercises are underway, continuous feedback loops should inform how to improve data capture going forward.

The StrataPrime solution
  • Our 7 Cost Levers workstream approach also captures, consolidates and analyses datasets from a variety of sources to identify improvement opportunities that can either be carried out by StrataPrime consultants or at the client’s discretion.  
  • We also carry out maturity assessments on your data quality and identify actions
4. Lack of resources and capabilities

New initiatives usually result in organisational change, which not only requires adapting roles but also creating new roles which may never have existed in your organisation before. As a result, you might begin piling on new responsibilities to an employee’s role without even consulting them first, leading to the people issues aforementioned. You’ll want to avoid this, otherwise, you will risk losing the support and cooperation of people vital to the success of your programme. The best way to acquire resources and expertise for a new initiative is to connect with a relevant network of SMEs.

The StrataPrime solution
  • StrataPrime provides extensive access to its network of variety of SMEs, executives and contractors in the areas of TBM, infrastructure transformation, vendor management, software asset management, service improvement, and more. StrataPrime also provides assistance sourcing new temp/perm staff through its specialist recruiting partners.
  • The StrataPrime Trusted Advisor provides impartial advice with proven project delivery and technical oversight.
5. Ineffective programme management and sub-standard change processes

You should develop a transformation roadmap to achieve buy-in from senior stakeholders. This will illustrate the tasks required to progress from current to future state through distinct phases across a number of workstreams.


The StrataPrime solution
  • The Astute Way is our unique agile methodology, using fortnightly scrums, robust government frameworks, and enforcing tracking to agreed actions. It allows for end-to-end portfolio management, and is employed across all of our engagements.
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