Why do too many IT projects fail?

Digital Transformation

Look, I am not going to share reasons why do too many IT projects fail!

I am flipping the question and arguing that may be success criteria set for IT projects are often too immature.

During project initiation, we know very little about the project. We set arbitrary constraints of budget and timeline. Then, we develop success criteria based on these constraints. If the project takes considerably more time or budget, we label it as a failed project.

Let me ask you:

How about if the project delivered set scope on the agreed time, budget and quality. However, after six months, the company observes that the end-users do not fully use the new software?

How about if the project cost is doubled, but the end product offers fourth time more value than initially anticipated?

The point is that it is a dumb idea to compare actual cost, timeline with the baseline and labelling success or failure. The project’s success criteria must evolve as we learn more during the project.

Perhaps many IT projects fail due to dumb success criteria!  

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