Our most recent LinkedIn poll to our network of over 70,000, resulted in 24% stating ‘delivering on-time and to budget’ is the biggest challenge facing CTOs.

This struggle can be attributed to various factors, and addressing them requires a combination of effective management practices, strategic approaches and gaining the right talent. Here are some reasons for this struggle and potential solutions:

1. Poor Project Planning:
• Problem: Inadequate project planning can lead to unrealistic timelines and budgets.
• Solution: Invest time in thorough project planning, define clear project goals and requirements, create realistic timelines, and allocate resources appropriately. Our Consultants can work with you and map out a realistic timeline and pinpoint skills required.

2. Inadequate Resource Management:
• Problem: Not having the right team or resources can hinder project progress.
• Solution: Ensure you have a skilled and appropriately sized team, and make efficient use of resources. Consider outsourcing: technology contractors have specialist skills and expertise in specific areas such as software development, cybersecurity, database management, devops, or network administration, and can really speed up the process without compromising quality.

3. Lack of Risk Management and inaccurate estimations
• Problem: Unforeseen risks, unrealistic timelines and issues can disrupt project schedules and budgets.
• Solution: Implement a robust risk management plan, identify potential risks early, and have contingency plans in place. Working with a consultancy can be really beneficial here as their experience of running similar projects will highlight any potential risks in advance.

4. Ineffective Communication:
• Problem: Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, misalignment, and delays.
• Solution: Maintain open and transparent communication within the project team, with stakeholders, and with other departments. Regularly update stakeholders on project progress. If using contractors, make sure there is mentoring and knowledge transfer training for any new technology features/services adopted to deliver the project.

5. Change Management:
• Problem: Resistance to change within the organisation can slow down project implementation.
• Solution: Develop a change management strategy to address resistance and facilitate the adoption of new processes or technologies.

6. Lack of Accountability:
• Problem: Ambiguity in roles and responsibilities can lead to accountability issues.
• Solution: Clearly define roles and responsibilities, and ensure team members are held accountable for their tasks and deliverables. Contractors often have a project-based mindset. They are motivated to complete their tasks efficiently and meet project deadlines since their income depends on it. This makes them confident taking accountability for their responsibilities.

7. Agile and Adaptive Approaches:
• Solution: Consider adopting agile methodologies or other adaptive project management approaches that allow for flexibility and quick responses to changes. Again. contractors often bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to your technology projects, helping to foster innovation. They have experienced and gained visibility of a wide range of companies and projects; helping you to stay ahead of the competition.

To improve project delivery, CTOs should focus on developing a culture of accountability, continuous improvement, and proactive risk management. Regularly review and assess the performance of projects to identify areas for improvement and take corrective actions. They should also consider utilising contractors to speed up projects, inject innovation and access highly-skilled, niche talent.