Gartner Research

AAA-Rated Project Failures — Abdication, Avoidance and Apathy

Published: 29 October 2014


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.

Included in Full Research

  • 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


Darryl Carlton

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