Clear and to the Point

18 June, 2010

Why Info Systems projects fail

Filed under: computers — monado @ 10:44

Andrew Brooke, on A Tech Writer’s World, points to an important article about why 68% of Information Systems projects fail.

Andrew writes,

Here is the most important line in this article: “…failure, in most cases, has little to do with the technology and everything to do with the business process.”

Specifically, the three main causes of IT project failure are:

  • the project manager failing to understand the business requirements
  • the system’s users not being involved in its design
  • senior management failing to get involved in the project

This is true of any IT project, including any documentation or content management system.


  1. I agree completely. I might add, though, that “failure” is measured against expectations, and that the expectations weren’t set, or managed, appropriately through the project.

    Comment by Richard Nelson — 18 June, 2010 @ 10:53 | Reply

  2. There is a minor contribution to failure on the technical side of things in that, while no project ever failed because it didn’t use bleeding edge technology, many have failed because they did. Other than that, I totally agree. It’s amazing how many multi-million dollar projects never ask, let alone answer, the “Three Magic Questions” of project management: What are we building? Who, exactly, are we building it for? How, precisely, do we get the answer to question #2 to admit that we have accomplished the answer to question #1? (The last question only being of relevance if you want to get paid or ever have the project end: not always objectives.)

    Comment by Don Hutton — 18 June, 2010 @ 13:38 | Reply

  3. Yes, I had something on my resume like “Develops clear document goals for target audience” but wonder how many potential clients understand the need for it.

    Comment by monado — 10 July, 2010 @ 20:22 | Reply

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