A successful IT project is one that is delivered on time, at or under budget, and working as originally planned. According to the Standish group, only 32% of IT projects are considered successful. Believe it or not, that’s an improvement over years past.
Why are most IT projects unsuccessful? I found a nice article entitled “Why IT projects fail” which lists 6 of the most important reasons for failure. I couldn’t agree more with the first point: Lack of user involvement. If your project will be used at all by end users, they must be involved early on. After all, a new system or application that end users can’t (or don’t want to) use is a waste of money.
I’d also like to add one more reason to the list: Politics. I’ve seen many a project fail as a result of politics or a power struggle. For example, maybe an executive wants to use a specific vendor for personal reasons or maybe a manager won’t cancel a failing project because it would look bad for them personally. Regardless, when personal preference and pride come into play, the end result is almost always bad.
How about you? What causes IT projects to fail in your opinion?