|Why Do Technology Projects Fail?
There have been many studies about why IT/IS project fail. There is not total
consensus as to why IT/IS projects fail. There are many variables and their
cause-and-effect relationships are not always clear.
Marjorie J. Cooper, PhD and Professor of Marketing at Baylor University
suggest reasons for project failure. Her reasons are:
• Unavailable resources
• Changing priorities,
• Too much rework,
• Conflict of resources and management,
• Scope compromised to meet budget or due date,
• Individual or team burnout,
• Work assigned without consideration of available time.
However, there are many more reasons why projects fail. Effy Oz and. John J.
Sosik conducted and extensive qualitative and quantitative study of why IT/IS
projects are cancelled-a major form of project failure. They surveyed Chief
Information Officers and their direct subordinates. Oz and Sosik were able to
identify and correlate variables most closely associated with IT/IS project
First, lack of corporate leadership was positively related to poorly
communicated goals, deliverables and poor project management. Second,
poorly communicated goals and deliverables were positively related to poor
project management, inadequate skills and means. Third, inadequate skills and
means were positively related to deviation from timetable, budget and poor
To summarize, without strong support by corporate leadership, the goals and
deliverables of a project are poorly understood. When the goals and
deliverables are not well communicated, project management will be poor.
Finally, if employees do not have adequate skills and access to the correct tools
for a project, project management will be poor leading to cost and schedule
overruns. Hence, IT/IS projects that were cancelled had little support
from corporate leadership, poor communication, unclear goals,
employees with inadequate skills and no access to the correct tools and
poor project management.
Many would be quick to blame immature technology for the high rate of IT/IS
project failures. However, numerous studies indicate that less than 5% of
project failures are related to immature technology. Most projects fail
because of people related issues.
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