Why IT projects fail

This article in TechNewsWorld, discusses the recent decision by the Census Bureau to abandon its use of handheld computers to take the census in 2010.  E-Commerce Times asked me why these kinds of projects fail. My answer:

“In my experience, the primary reason for large IT failures is a lack of clear business objectives — or a lack of agreement on those objectives,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“For example, the explicit objective for the census project was to have more accurate data. It was believed that technology could make that happen. Without knowing the details, I’d bet that when it came right down to it, the primary objective was lost in the details of implementing the technologies,” he conjectured. “In other words, while everyone agreed that more accurate data was the goal, they couldn’t agree [on] how to make that happen.”

As I’ve said in another post, failure of projects is certainly not limited to smaller organizations.

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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