Why Big IT Projects Fall Short of Expectations

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 06-23-2015 Email

It can get pretty rough out there for CIOs who oversee large-scale IT projects: For projects requiring more than $10 million in investment, the chances of delivering on time and on budget, while meeting all needed objectives, is just one in 10, according to research findings summarized in a recent report from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). And the cost of failure can amount to 100% or even 170% of the original investment cost. The report, titled "Large-Scale IT Projects: From Nightmare to Value Creation," reflects upon the good, bad and the ugly behind the planning and execution of major tech initiatives. As for the bad and the ugly, it summarizes the following reasons why such projects fail, which include overly complex requirements, inexperienced teams and a lack of buy-in among influential stakeholders. As for the good, it provides best practices for avoiding these mistakes and steering a big IT undertaking toward impactful success. Doing so frequently distinguishes successful CIOs from also-rans. "Given today's rapidly evolving business environment," according to the report, "the ability to deliver large-scale IT projects successfully stands to become an increasingly critical competitive differentiator for companies (as well as an increasingly used yardstick for gauging the performance of leaders, including CIOs)."

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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