Processor Magazine - Dealing With IT Project Failures


(27-Aug-10) All IT growth in an enterprise requires projects, but projects seem rarely to go as planned. In fact, according to the Standish Group, fewer than one in three enterprise projects succeed in meeting their objectives. Standish’s latest data, from 2008, shows a 5% increase in outright project failure from the 2006 data, marking “the highest failure rate in over a decade,” according to the company. You may be wondering why this is.

“Three big things usually cause projects to fail,” says Jim Johnson, chairman of The Standish Group. “There’s lack of user involvement or user understanding of what needs to be done, so mistakes happen; pieces of the solution don’t get implemented, or they do get implemented and just not used. No. 2 is lack of support, so budgets get blown out of the water. The third is not aligning the project with the business.”

One could argue that each of these points comes back to communication. If only project managers communicated better with their superiors and with workers doing the hands-on deployment and use, things would flow more smoothly. After all, insufficient communication leads to poor understanding and inability to collaborate effectively.

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