Why do IT projects fail?

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Career Development
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Hi, I'm a student at CSU Chico. I'm writing a research paper on the failur of IT projects. I was hoping someone here could give me an example of a project the worked on that ended up "failing" so to speak. "Failing" meaning the project could not be completed on time, the project was well over budget, or the project did not could not deliver the user requierment. If someone could respond with an answer it would be greatly appriciated. Also you can e-mail me at dbrazeau1024@gmail.com . Thanks.

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I would say that the biggest factor why IT projects fail would be lack of buy-in from management. This really influences most other obstacles, which could in itself be seen as reasons for project failure, but are really only symptoms of the above. These could be anything from insufficient resources, be it people/infrastructure/time to bad project management. The project manager could make or break a project and should anticipate risks, deadline misses, scope creep and all project related issues. Another person who could make or break the project is the Project Sponsor. The project sponsor should be picked very carefully and this person should manage communication from the project to the Board of Directors / Management / etc. and communicate all important and urgent issues raised by the project manager to the directors and manage their expectations. In my experience these different people influence the success of a project much more significantly than any technology issues.

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  • NoelOmbrog
    Projects "fail" (i.e., the project could not be completed on time, the project was well over budget, or the project did not could not deliver the user requirement) because of two main of factors: incomplete requirements gathering, and lack of resources (or incorrect resource allocation), all other stem from these. To ensure a successful project, we must first be able to define/identify project requirements, it is necessary to identify all targetted user groups. Failure to do dooms the project to "fail" since it would result in incomplete requirements. This impacts on the database design, applications design, and resources estimates. Each user group have its own data and functional requirements. If these are not considered, the DB design is flawed from the beginning, and the resulting application is lacking in functionality and features. The second, resource estimates/allocation, is corollary to the first. If you don't know the needs, you won't be able to correctly identify the resources (hardware, software tools, technical skills) required. The estimates would always fall short--a delayed project in the making. I hope this helps you. If you have further questions, you can email me at n_ombrog@yahoo.com. Best regards and GOD Bless you in your efforts.
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  • JohnDavid
    Hi, I agree with Noel but would like to add: 1. It projects must be controlled properly else they tend to become iterative - the more the user sees the more he wants. The project manager then falls into the trap of wanting to please the user and runs out of time and resources. One of the traps is that technology changes so fast that the technology that was current at the time of the project's definition may not be the hottest technology through the project's life cycle. 2. A lot of IT personnel tend to be perfectionists and spend more time on the perfect solution than on an acceptable solution. Best of luck.
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