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Well-known expert on why IT projects fail, CEO of Asuret, a Brookline, MA consultancy that uses specialized tools to measure and detect potential vulnerabilities in projects, programs, and initiatives. Also a popular and prolific blogger, writing the IT Project Failures blog for ZDNet.

2 responses to “Call for IT Devil’s Triangle research”

  1. Dennis Moore

    Michael –

    There are a number of statistical methods you could use if you have a large enough data sample – where “large enough” gets even larger when there is a lot of variation in the data, as I’m sure you’ll find in this data set.

    You could also use an approach where you first study a number of real projects, identifying in each case the actions that contributed to failure. Just identifying them and attributing them to the erring party could help progress this discussion. For example, the vendor was at fault for not better controlling the promises made by the sales reps. The sales rep was at fault for making claims s/he did not know to be true. The customer’s IT shop was at fault for not verifying the accuracy of the sales rep’s claims. The customer’s purchasing group was at fault for not writing all requirements into the contract. And so on …

    Fault is subjective in a complex situation like an IT (or other business process change management) project failure, unlike the simple (simplistic?) case of a car accident. In the case of the car accident, there are very clear laws/rules, generally a very small number of responsible parties involved, generally objective facts that can be proven or at least inferred with a high degree of certainty, generally very clear costs, and generally very clear outcomes. This subject area is just a little more complex – no clear rules, often very large number of responsible (or irresponsible?) parties involved, few objective facts, unclear costs, and unclear outcomes.

    Go for it, Mike! Your research is important to the industry.

    – Dennis

  2. Call for IT Devil's Triangle research | IT Project Failures | ZDNet.com

    […] 2/2/10: In a comment on the Enterprise Irregulars blog, industry expert Dennis Moore proposes a method for thinking about the research problem […]