IT Projects – doomed from the start?

110..365 | The End? By Katkamin on flickrI just ran across an interesting research report titled “Doomed from the Start? Why a majority of business and IT teams anticipate their software development projects will fail

The report provides the results of a survey completed by 596 IT and Business executives with the majority of respondents being IT professionals (476 out of 596 were IT professionals).

The results are interesting.  A quick summary of the results is provided below:

  • 75% of respondents admit that their projects are either always or usually “doomed from the start”.
  • 80% of respondents admit that they spend at least half their time on rework.
  • 55% of respondents claim that business objectives of IT projects are clear
  • 23% of respondents state that they are always in agreement when a project is done.
  • 73% of respondents claim that the IT team is successful or very successful in delivering projects that meet the business expectations. Note: “successful” was claimed to be meeting 70% or more of the project goals.
  • 75% of respondents  claim that IT is a valued, trusted partner and critical to the company’s success

Interesting stuff.  Good to see that last point for sure.

I wanted to take a second for a little discussion on a few topics…

At times, I think that part of the problem with most IT projects is the attitude of the IT team…and this survey seems to highlight that with the fact that 3/4 of respondents believed that projects are doomed from the start.  You start a project expecting it to fail, you are going to most likely fail.

Almost 3/4 of respondents claim the IT team is successful in delivering 70% or more in project deliverable.  Since when did meeting 70% of a goal mean success? Calling 70% of project goals a success is kind of like saying ‘meh…just do the bare minimum to squeak by’. In school, a 70% is a “C-“….I don’t know many teachers that would be telling a student that they were successful if they finished the year with a “C-” average.

If meeting 70% of a project’s goals is considered a success, then yes…the projects are doomed from the start.

Image Credit: 110..365 | The End? By Katkamin on flickr