Gartner Research

AAA-Rated Project Failures — Abdication, Avoidance and Apathy

Published: 29 October 2014

ID: G00262544

Analyst(s): Darryl Carlton


By any definition, the failure rate of IT projects is appalling. Despite more than 50 years of history and countless methodologies advice and books, projects keep failing. IT and business leaders need to focus on effective governance, not increased reporting to change project outcomes.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • Unrealistic Goals, Schedules and Budgets
  • Failure to Address or Adequately Consider the Need to Simplify Complex Business Processes and Rules That Cannot Readily Be Implemented Into New Solutions
  • Governance and Oversight Lack Accountability and Responsibility
  • Organizational Culture and "Optimism Bias" During Supplier Evaluation and Procurement
  • Poor Project Discipline and Process Controls That Impede the Ability to Make Informed Decisions
  • Failure to Define, Control and Track Change Requirements, and, in Particular, to Reference Changes Back to the Original Need
  • Underestimation and Overconfidence With Regard to Risk
  • Insufficient Management or Technical Expertise From External Service Provider, System Integrator or Consultant
  • Failure to Understand or Address Nonfunctional and Technical Performance Requirements
  • Program Manager Not Provided With Adequate Authority to Ensure the Project Is Undertaken as Required

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2021 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Purchase this Document

To purchase this document, you will need to register or sign in above

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.