Few projects have so clearly failed as the spectacularly disastrous Tacoma Narrows Bridge which began galloping like a horse until it completely collapsed on November 7. 1940. By some accounts, Boston's “Big Dig” construction project cost $12 billion more than originally estimated and was completed over five years late. Admittedly, few projects are this big and challenging, yet cost and schedule problems are hardly unusual in large public construction projects. Most IT project problems are less obvious and more subtle, but no less deadly. As every Project Manager (PM) will confirm, managing projects is difficult. In a 2010 study of a decade of IT projects, the influential Standish Group CHAOS report found amazingly that a mere 24% of IT projects were considered a success:
- Successful: 24%
- Challenged: (late, over budget, fell short of original requirements) 44%
- Failed: cancelled or never used 32%
From their study, here are five major ways IT projects go wrong.