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Setting the Record Straight: Real Reasons Why IT Projects Fail

All the time, we discuss what causes IT projects to fail, but Hemant Kogekar has written an expansive blog post that really attempts to trace the causes of IT failure back to their myriad overarching roots. The culprits are as follows:

  • Fuzzy goals
  • Over-optimism
  • Complexity
  • Weak ownership
  • Governance
  • Over-engineered project management
  • Wrong project manager
  • Failure to recognize a troubled project

Lack of clarity dooms a project from the beginning, since it is difficult to hit an ever moving target. Over-optimism in a project leads to underestimating costs and time tables, but the opposite scenario, in which no one takes great enthusiasm and ownership in a project, can be just as harmful when no one is held accountable for missed benchmarks. You need to select a project manager who is well-equipped in every way the job demands. Bureaucracy in the business is a sure way to slow down a project and waste time and money, but a project manager who values rules and regulations over actual work produced can be just as problematic. Kogekar notes that smaller projects have a much greater success rate than larger projects, and so his solution to project failure is to think big and act small. Climbing the stairs one step at a time is safer than leaping four steps at once.

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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