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With so few CIOs indicating they were able to achieve both timetable and budget goals for their most important projects, it is understandable that business executives have been forced to lower their expectations. But is that what CIOs should establish as a benchmark for success? If not, then they must start working on framing reasonable expectations with the CEO and business-unit managers. The classic pitfall of overpromising must be avoided at all costs. Consider breaking those projects up into smaller modules, and look for outside help, if it's available and your budget allows. Most important, enlist your business groups as stakeholders in the project all along the way, especially when setting priorities at the outset.