Discussion #13 – Why do Big Projects Fail?

This week we discuss the topic, ‘Why do big projects fail’. With a slant towards IT projects due to our backgrounds in the field, we discuss and explore some examples of failures to date.

There are different types of project failure, where the project is: complete but costs too much; complete but too late; complete but with low quality; incomplete and doesn’t do what was originally envisaged; combinations of the four; and not done at all – scrapped by the stakeholders with nothing to show for it.

Software and IT projects, more than other types of projects such as construction or manufacturing, often suffer from the last case – scrapped. We discuss agile methodologies and whether they are the solution – or at least whether they reduce the probability of failure.

Sometimes there are too many chiefs and not enough engineers. And even if the business analysts identify the full scope of what needs to be done, sometimes the stakeholders don’t see the same vision or can’t afford the required budget.

As always, Scott Adams has an angle:

Dilbert.com

Listen to the pod cast here:

Download as MP3

1One of Shourov’s rants about Myki can be found at http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/11/28/comment-oh-you-forgot-design-user.

2Things that cost Less than Myki (I love this site) https://sites.google.com/site/cheaperthanmyki/

3Why Software Fails – http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/why-software-fails

4http://www.lessons-from-history.com/home/project-failure-case-studies/case-studies-project-failure

5http://calleam.com/WTPF/?tag=examples-of-failed-projects

6http://www.computerworld.com/article/2533563/it-project-management/it-s-biggest-project-failures—-and-what-we-can-learn-from-them.html

7http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_failed_and_overbudget_custom_software_projects

8http://news-beta.slashdot.org/story/13/05/25/139218/worlds-biggest-agile-software-project-close-to-failure

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