If you were to Google ‘Business Project Failures’ then you would find a number of articles that quote 90% as the average failure rate, while listing a number of valid reasons.
However, this article by Gary Lloyd is one of my favorite pieces on the subject because he suggest three key areas that if addressed would have an outsized, positive impact on a project’s success:
I would like to take Gary’s three key points and further distill the concepts into one word.
Looking at the tail end of a failed project, there seems to be no shortage of finger pointing. Perhaps the customer hired the vendor for their expertise but instead supplied with a team willing to work at subpar wages. Maybe the customer did not fully understand the project implications and the scope of work was in perpetual expansion. Possibly both?
Regardless of who is to blame, there is a lack of responsibility for the outcome. Blaming outside influences is rarely a strategy for success.
As a working professional who help global companies to develop enterprise reports, I have worked with teams large and small. The idiom “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” rings true for when large-scale implementations go off the rails.
With budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars and assured failure rates of 90%, moving the needle just a few percentage points would have an immense outcome.
And how can we hedge for success when many have failed? One factor for success (surprisingly) is much simpler that the many reasons for failure.
More to come in a future article.
I built analytical applications, dashboards, and reports for Fortune 500 companies that run on the SAP Platform.