Ten reasons that cause IT projects to fail

Here are some things to ponder:

  • Delivering projects successfully creates credibility for an IT organization.
  • There are dozens of project management methodologies.
  • PM tools are everywhere you look.
  • Several PM certifications exist.
  • Project management training is easy to find.

Yet, project failure in the IT world is rampant, , ,  lots of press about it. So here is the question,

“With all this information and resources to help you manage projects effectively, how can we continue to have such high project failure rates?”

You would think the need for credibility alone would be enough to help us make improvements.

Here is a list of why I think IT projects have such high failure rates:

  1. IT managers may not understand how important delivering projects successfully is in establishing credibility so they don’t invest enough in PM training and methodology.
  2. Insufficient time is spent on the front end to define the specific objectives and deliverable of a project.
  3. The project lacks sufficient resource to execute the project.
  4. Not enough buffer  included in the project plan, especially when estimating how long tasks will take and how much things will cost.
  5. Scope creep, , , occurs when additional requirements are added to the project after the scope has been defined by the Project Manager and agreed to by the Project Sponsor.
  6. Insufficient commitment from the Customer, , , usually internal department managers of the company fail to invest the resources needed to complete the project successfully, , , they just want IT to get it done for them.
  7. Lack of getting buy-in from project team members in the beginning of a project that they can complete assigned tasks when they are targeted to.
  8. Lack of ongoing monitoring and managing of the project week to week.
  9. Project team members waiting to the last minute to work on tasks.
  10. Poor communication.

This last reason, , , poor communication, , , is the root cause of many of the items on the list. IT people are generally poor communicators because 70% of us are shy and introverted. This is a big reason a high percentage of IT projects fail year after year.

Invest in your team’s project management skills and keep records of your performance, , , both in success rates and the value delivered. A simple and quick way to do this is with an IT Initiatives Portfolio. Go to https://itlever.com/2010/05/11/it-initiatives-portfolio/

Awareness is one of the first things we need. Become aware of how important project management is to your team’s credibility and track record and prepare sufficiently to deliver projects successfully.

With today’s tools and training that’s readily available, there is no excuse for a poor project management track record. If you allow it to happen, it is undermining your credibility and preventing you from future opportunity.

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