IT failure: A shameful story

A sad story that reminds me why studying IT failures is so important.

Vinnie Mirchandani wrote a blog post that reminded me why studying IT failures is important. Please read this story carefully:

[O]ne of the darkest moments in my career came a few years ago when I was visiting the chief executive of a well-known institution. They were about to start an ERP project but he might as well have been a man headed for the gallows. Head hung low - all he could talk about how much of an overrun he needed to prepare his organization for. And his project had not even started. I felt sick - never felt so un-proud of my chosen profession. I could not give him much hope that his pessimism was unjustified. Even after the experience of hundreds of thousands of ERP and other enterprise projects, they fail at alarmingly high rates.

Is there any other industry where we routinely accept 30-70 percent rates of failure? If you can think of one, please let me know.

[Photo from iStockphoto.]