What We've Got Here Is a Failure to Communicate

By Deb Perelman  |  Posted 2007-03-07 Print this article Print

Why do most IT projects fail? Poor communication, finds a Web survey released by CompTIA on March 6.

Twenty-eight percent of the more than 1,000 respondents said that poor communications were the primary factor behind most project failures.

"Clearly, technical skills alone are no longer enough," said John Venator, president and CEO, CompTIA. "Technology workers must have solid communications skills, both verbal and written, in order to complete projects that are delivered on time, at or under budget and provide the promised benefits to the organization."

Other factors blamed for the high number of failed technology projects included insufficient resource planning (by 18 percent), unrealistic deadlines (13.2 percent), poor project requirements (9.8 percent), lack of stakeholder buy-in and support (6.7 percent) and undefined project success or closure criteria (5.2 percent).

Of course, this isn't news to any IT professional that has worked on a project.

"Projects fail because of artificial dates, insufficient funding, insufficient support from senior management, unclear requirements, and that's just the tip of the iceberg ... Almost anyone who has worked on a project would give you similar answers," an IT manager at a New York-based financial services institution told eWEEK.

"Poor communication -- between users and IT, between management and lower-level people, between project management and the vendor -- is usually what it comes down to."

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