Most IT Departments Have Projects That Fail

About 95 percent of information technology departments in mid-sized businesses are delivering projects that are late, do not function properly or fail to satisfy the organizational leaders that initiated them in the first place, according to a new study conducted by Info-Tech Research Group. The report’s findings were based on responses from more than 1,400 companies in the United States, Canada and the U.K.


Although the survey was limited to mid-sized organizations, the numbers are generally representative of both small and large companies, as well, said Frank Koelsch, Info-Tech’s executive vice president of corporate strategy and research.


“I think another way of looking at the figure is that only 5 percent of our respondents said they had no projects fail—in other words, that 100 percent of their projects were successful,” he said. “That can happen for a variety of reasons: Some don’t have many projects because they are just operationally focused, and some are just very good at it. Others may be very small. If you’re a small organization, the projects tend to be simpler and easier to manage.”


The top three key factors that cause IT projects to fail were unrealistic time frames, low numbers of IT staff and poorly defined scope (62 percent). Surprisingly low down the list at number five was lack of financial support, which indicated respondents didn’t feel it was an issue of raw dollars, Koelsch said.


“The top three are all issues that can and should be addressed…


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