Phil Culhane started developing the CT tools and methodologies in the late 1990s with Christina Marie Comeau while they were employees of a leading Canadian systems integration firm. Both had extensive experience with Information Technology implementation projects, and both knew that most attempts at implementation were failures – whether measured independently based on time, budget, outcomes or all three.
From an undying curiosity around that basic fact, CTLabs was born. They did extensive research, first to confirm the number of projects that failed (the Standish Group holds that over 70% of large implementations are failures or “challenged”) and the elements that led to the success or failure of a given project. Their analysis determined that neither the processes nor the technologies were significant factors in the overall dismal track record of IT implementations, but that the greatest determinant of success or failure was the people factor.
CTLabs emerged from this systemic understanding, and it has transformed over the years as our projects progress and we branch into new areas of work. It was not long after we started studying IT project implementation failures that we realized that IT projects were not a special thing unto themselves – all areas of human effort are fraught with risk, and the extent to which you do or do not engage communities of people effectively throughout the change lifecycle will be the extent to which any significant change effort succeeds or fails.