Want to skillfully avoid IT project failure? Then simplify.
IT failures are often accompanied by a complex set of organizational, political, and technical dynamics. When conflicting agendas and lack of consensus arise out of this complexity, the project is at risk. In fact, unless this complexity is managed, failure may be inevitable.
The assembla blog makes a relevant point:
When a person or company tries to build and release a very complex product, it usually doesn't happen.
It's easy to rationalize away complexity, saying "Our environment is complicated," but such thinking often represents little more than denial and problem avoidance.
Unfortunately, there's no easy test to measure "over-complicatedness." I personally fall back on the test of intuition: if it feels too complicated, then it probably is too complicated.
Update 10/27/07: Take a look at Geek and Poke's interpretation of this post on complexity.