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Survey: One in 3 IT projects fail; Management ok with it

According to Dynamic Markets, one in three companies' technology projects fail to meet expectations and 43 percent of organizations say their managers accept these problems as the norm.The survey, conducted for Tata Consultancy Services, polled 800 middle and senior technology managers at large companies in the U.

According to Dynamic Markets, one in three companies' technology projects fail to meet expectations and 43 percent of organizations say their managers accept these problems as the norm.

The survey, conducted for Tata Consultancy Services, polled 800 middle and senior technology managers at large companies in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore and Sweden.

In Europe and Asia Pacific, companies are more likely to accept problems as the norm. In Europe, 44 percent of the managers said IT implementation miscues were the norm. In Asia Pacific, that tally was 48 percent.

Given the number of technology implementation disasters, Tata's results aren't all that surprising. Big enterprise projects are difficult and require a lot of things--business processes, people, customization, training and financial support--to line up. More often than not these moving parts don't line up.

Other tidbits:

  • 69 percent of respondents say their managers continue to provide financial support for poor performing projects. I'd call this the throwing money down a sinkhole syndrome.
  • Most common problem is missed deadline (62 percent of respondents); missed budgets (49 percent of respondents) and higher than expected maintenance costs (47 percent). That's a lot of misses.
  • 25 percent of customers say business users are reluctant to adopt new systems once implemented. Perhaps users should be included in the front end of IT projects.