10 Signs Your IT Programme Is Failing

On average, 30% of all IT programmes fail. These programmes are either discarded or revoked at some point and are written off as complete losses.  A huge number of the ‘successful’ seventy percent of programmes run over allocated time, exceed the budget or are functionally deficient at the time of completion.

Here are ten certain signs to look out for in an IT programme to determine if it is a failure.

1. Incomplete Or Insufficient Requirements

The lack of a Requirements and Specifications Document with clearly defined goals is the first sign that the programme is likely to be a failure.


2. Absence of User Involvement

If the user does not participate enough in the system development process, the programme will likely be written-off. Adequate user involvement is a must for system success and customer satisfaction.

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.Confucius

3. Inadequate Resources

If the programme does not have adequate resources either in the form of money, manpower or logistics, it is a red flag.

4. Unrealistic Expectations

Whether it is unrealistic schedule expectations or delivery-goal expectations, programme success depends on setting these expectations correctly.

5. No Executive Support

If your programme does not have management support from all concerned parties, or if political shenanigans are rampant amongst the stakeholders, it’s likely to be a failure.

6. Changing Requirements and Specifications

Small changes are okay, but constantly changing requirements and specifications are not. If proper control mechanisms are not in place to manage these revisions and expectations, such changes exponentially increase the risk of programme failure.


7. Lack of Technical Knowledge

If most of your team members are learning on the job, then there is a high probability of programme failure.

8. Inadequate Planning

Expect failure if there are no procedures in place to deal with the defined goals and programme schedules.


9. Incompetent Programme Leadership

Reports show that successful programmes had an experienced programme management team at the helm with responsible and accountable team members. Does your programme have a team like this?

10. Lack of Feedback

A significant sign that your IT programme is on the path to failure is the lack of a proper feedback channel where everybody involved in the programme can review its status and provide suggestions and corrections.

Imran Zaman

The founder of DIGITI.ORG - The Digital Transformation Magazine. Imran is a Senior Consultant who helps FTSE 500 companies develop Cloud-First Strategies, introduce Cloud Operating and Cloud Finance Models and leads international Program Management teams to deliver digital change. Imran writes about Business, Technology and Innovation.

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