by Michael Friedenberg

The Sad State of IT Project Management

Jul 15, 20062 mins
Project Management Tools

In baseball, if you fail to get a hit seven out of 10 times, that’s a .300 average and you’re regarded as a top performer. But CIOs don’t play baseball. They play the game of business, and failing seven out of 10 times is not only embarrassing, it’s unacceptable.

That’s why I took a hard look at some of the startling statistics that CIO has uncovered over the past few issues. In When Failure Is Not an Option, we cited a biennial study by the Standish Group reporting that just 29 percent of IT projects conducted in 2004 were completed on time, on budget, and with all features and functions originally specified. In Federal IT Flunks Out, we identified a minimum of eight government projects that either have failed already or seem about to do so. And the government has already spent more than $12 billion on these projects!

Trust me when I say that I am the CIO’s biggest champion and understand that it’s not always (or even often) the CIO’s fault when projects fail or go substantially over budget. But as CIOs begin to lead growth initiatives for their businesses, it’s imperative that they build trust with their CXO peers. Hitting .300 in today’s business world just ain’t going to cut it, and it will certainly not get you into anyone’s Hall of Fame.

How can projects get so out of control? How can so many projects fail? Is it the system, the talent, the expectations? I would love to hear your thoughts because the only way that CIOs will ultimately get the respect they deserve is when they can stand tall and deliver on their promises.