Teams play an important role when it comes to developing a successful IS project. IS projects have a history of failure and 30-40% of projects fail prior to completion. In the United States alone, failed IS projects cost $100 billion per annum.
For example, in 1956 a group of computer scientists at IBM set out to build the world’s fastest supercomputer. Five years later, they produced the IBM 7030. Capable of handling half a million instructions per second, the IBM 7030 was the fastest computer in the world and would remain so until 1964. However, the 7030 was considered a failure. IBM originally intended to develop a computer 100 times faster than the system it was meant to replace but the 7030 came in only 30 to 40 times faster. Because it failed to meet its goal, IBM had to drop the 7030’s price to $7.8 million from the planned $13.5 million, which meant the system was priced below cost. The company stopped offering the 7030 for sale and only nine were ever built.
It is because of this reputation for failure that teamwork has become so important in the development of IS projects.
An area of project development where teams are vitally important is the planning stage. In this stage potential projects are identified by sources such as development groups. This is perhaps the most important stage in the development of IS projects because it is where the weak ideas are separated from the promising ones and the feasibility of the project is brought into question. Teams play an important role in this process. By bouncing ideas around the group and allowing each member to voice their opinion, a better decision is reached as to whether or not the development of a project should go ahead. This simple process gives the project a greater chance of successful completion and could ultimately save a firm a lot of money.