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Reasons Behind IT Project Failures


1.What are Some Common Reasons for IT Project Failure?

2.Name and Discuss at least Four Strategies to avoid the Reasons Described.

3.Provide two Specific Examples from published Literature of IT Projects that have been Unsuccessful.

4.Discuss the Scenario, Problems Encountered and whether any Strategies were Implemented to resolve the Problems and get Project back on track.

This essay depicts the importance of adapting project management strategies in the IT enterprises; those strategies are needed to be considered to increase the business revenue. However, selections of inappropriate strategies lead to IT project failure. The reasons behind the IT project failures are elaborated in this essay. In order to combat the project failure, certain mitigation strategies are required to be adapted by the business organizations to overcome the challenges. In addition to these two examples of real world IT project failures are also illustrated in this essay. Moreover, in order to encounter the problems scenario different strategies are whether developed or not are also demonstrated in this essay.

There are many reasons for which a professional IT project might fail to deliver the desired outcome to the consumers. The detected reasons behind the project failure are as follows:

Poor project preparation: If the project development team fails to prepare a perfect project planning before implement, then due to improper presentation of the blueprint the developers might face major challenges while implementing the project. After considering the requirement of the stakeholders the expected investment should be planned (Nguyen & Chileshe 2015, p. 400). If the finance manager of the project team fails to estimate the actual budget, then after implementation of the project, it will affect the product quality and the customer needs also.

Inadequate tracking and documentation: If the project manager fails to monitor and track the project progress properly then, the PM will not be able to explain the work flow (Kerzner 2013, p. 60). Not only this, but also if the PM does not track the requirement, that is whether any new resource is needed or not, then also the project will be negatively impacted.

Bad leadership: Leadership is referred to as one of the major needs for professional IT project development (Pflugler et al. 2016, p. 35). The project manager must play the role of the leader to motivate the project team members efficiently.

Failure to define the project parameter: If the project manager fails to detect the required project parameters, then due to lack of enforcement the, project will not be to deliver the need of the consumers.

Inexperienced project manager: The project manager plays the leading role while developing a professional IT project for an IT organization (Ming 2014, p. 48). If the manager does not possess enough knowledge then, due to lack of project management capabilities, the project will fail to deliver the consumer’s requirements.

Improper cost estimation: Before implementation of any professional project for the real time organizations if the finance manager fails to estimate the actual budget required to implement the project then, the it will be a major reason for the project failure, because, during implementation period if the PM found that the project needs extra cost for certain changes then that might not be possible for the company (McDonald & Murphy 2015, p. 45). This will again lead to failure.   

Mitigation Strategies for IT Project Failures

Time estimation: Based on the type of project, the time schedule should be developed. Suppose in order to complete a project at least 3 months are  required but during the project initiation and planning phase the project development team, fails to measure the actual time period needed to implement the project in the real application filed. Then due to improper time measurement the organization will fail to meet the requirement of the stakeholders.  

Misalignment of cultural and ethical components: If the IT business enterprises fail to consider the actual cultural and ethical consideration, then the entire project will be a failure (Heagney 2016, p.54).

Competitor’s priorities:  Before implementing a professional IT project in the IT firm, if the project manager does not look into the competitor’s priorities such as the tools and other key components they are using to develop their project then their project will lag behind because the clients will accept a the better one.

Proactive approach adaptation: Poor project initiation will lead to major failure (Boriani et al. 2014, p.510). In order to avoid this issue, the project management team of the IT business organizations should configure solid project plan to set the realistic desires with the consumers and stakeholder’s expectations.

Proper initiation of the project: Group discussion is needed to be acquired by the project team members so that they could share their views freely with one another. At the same time it will help to meet the stakeholder’s expectations very carefully by developing the agreed list of the project requirements (McDonald & Murphy 2015, p. 45). The cost benefits analysis, project charter and communication plan must be developed in the project initiation phase and not during the project planning phase.

Managing project goal: Before initiating the professional IT project, SMART objectives should be developed and based on the objectives data must be gathered from different resources and after analyzing those data, the project team members should utilize them, on the appropriate locations. Despite of controlling the project the project scope should be manager by the project manager of the business organization.

Negotiate the solution: After planning project, a risk management plan is also efficiently developed by the business organizations. Negotiation might also more likely result in solutions which addresses the important requirements and needs of all the stakeholders including the project team members (Fadun 2013, p. 225). The solution plan should be developed considering the needs of the stakeholders including the consumers.   

In the year of 2004, HP announced that after the quarter of months they would be able to achieve huge profit from their newly developed enterprise services and system (ESS). In order to increase the productivity with quality and to meet the requirement of the clients they planned to develop SAP ERP system in their business. Before implementation they considered certain measurements (Almgren 2014, p. 56). However at the time of development they took some initiatives such as a very short lead and delivery time, cost savings and representation of a global distribution system. At the time of platform migration the SAP R/3, ERP implemented by HP failed to meet the desired outcomes. The internal investigation team of the business organization identified the reasons behind the system failure.

Real World Examples of IT Project Failures

Supply chain issue in Nike

In order to develop the supply chain management system of Nike, in the year of 2000 to 2001, Nike invented a $400 million. However, in the development time period, it had been surprisingly found that, the stock market, lose a huge amount of revenue. Over $100 million dollar had been lost (Carter, Rogers & Choi 2015, p. 91). They had planned to implement a demand planning approach in terms of software solution for the consumers without proper testing. Due to this reason everything went in vain. Instead of understanding the issue Nike matches the supply with the consumer demand by reducing their sneakers manufacturing cycle.

Problem scenario for HP

The difficult project management approach raised due to extreme dependency among the team members. Communication gap among the team members were another major issue that had been identified. In addition to this, lack of training and development programs problems raised while integrating data to one another (Almgren 2014, p. 50). The project team members failed to forecast the issues in the initial phase. For lack of training and development the data management was identified as one of the major issues for the ERP implementation. In the pre-implementation program the development team detected that the planning and testing of ERP SAP was not at all appropriate. Moreover, the contingency planning was also inadequate. While migrating from the traditional platform to the new platform, many data lose occurred. This is another issue that has been identified.

Problem scenario for Nike

One of the most well known products delivered by Nike is the sneakers. However, in order to overcome the challenges Nike matched their supply chain with the consumer’s demand without taking the appropriate changes for increasing the revenue (Rauch et al. 2015, p. 90). The company had found that due to lower number of sneaker’s production, the price ranged raised suddenly and as a result the efficient supply chain system get collapsed.


From the overall discussion it can be concluded that in order to mitigate the challenges of professional IT projects different business aspects are needed to be considered by the IT organizations. Based on the IT business type appropriate strategies must be adapted. There are many reasons behind the failure of the professional IT projects. The reason and their mitigation strategies are elaborated in this essay. In addition to this, two real worlds IT project failures such as ERP failure in HP and supply chain management failure in Nile are demonstrated in this essay. Moreover, the detected problems in the case scenarios are also illustrated here.


Almgren, K 2014. Information technology project management processes and practices: A comprehensive study for successful implementation of IT projects. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 5(11).

Boriani, G., Glotzer, T.V., Santini, M., West, T.M., De Melis, M., Sepsi, M., Gasparini, M., Lewalter, T., Camm, J.A. & Singer, D.E 2014. Device-detected atrial fibrillation and risk for stroke: an analysis of> 10 000 patients from the SOS AF project (Stroke preventiOn Strategies based on Atrial Fibrillation information from implanted devices). European heart journal, 35(8), pp.508-516.

Carter, C.R., Rogers, D.S. & Choi, T.Y 2015. Toward the theory of the supply chain. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 51(2), pp.89-97.

Fadun, O.S 2013. Risk management and risk management failure: Lessons for business enterprises. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 3(2), p.225.

Heagney, J 2016. Fundamentals of project management. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Kerzner, H 2013. Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

McDonald, K. & Murphy, T 2015. Predict, protect, prevent: working toward a personalized approach to heart failure prevention. JACC Heart Fail, 3, p.45.

Ming, W.S 2014. Firm?based investigation into business project failure and developing business project management domain model using UML.

Nguyen, T.P. & Chileshe, N 2015. Revisiting the construction project failure factors in Vietnam. Built Environment Project and Asset Management, 5(4), pp.398-416.

Pflugler, C., Wiesche, M. & Krcmar, H 2016, June. The Dual-sided Effect of Project Failure on IT Professionals. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGMIS Conference on Computers and People Research (pp. 33-37). ACM.

Rauch, P., Wolfsmayr, U.J., Borz, S.A., Triplat, M., Krajnc, N., Kolck, M., Oberwimmer, R., Ketikidis, C., Vasiljevic, A., Stauder, M. & Mühlberg, C 2015. SWOT analysis and strategy development for forest fuel supply chains in South East Europe. Forest Policy and Economics, 61, pp.87-94.

Tian, X. & Wang, T.Y 2014. Tolerance for failure and corporate innovation. Review of Financial Studies, 27(1), pp.211-255.

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