Common reasons for IT project failure

Everyone wants their project to be a success; that means delivering on time, within the allocated budget and of course meeting the designed end goal. When you attend training for project managers one thing they will tell you is that it is rarely this straightforward; things can and do go wrong. IT project failures is one of these things and there are a number of reasons that this can occur. Let’s take a look at some of those reasons.

Lack of management interest

All too often, management prefer to leave the IT side of things completely to the technical team. This can create an environment where management simply have no interest in this side of things and the technical team are left to make their own decisions. They do not necessarily understand the relevant business objectives well and may inadvertently go against these.


Everyone wants to save money, it’s a good feeling to know you have saved something. However, when you apply this idea to IT projects it may in fact end up costing you more. If you don’t apply sufficient budget to your project you may end up with team members who don’t have the skills. All too often projects that are underfunded can come back over budget, late or with things missing. When you allocate a good budget to a project you get the right people and avoid at least some of these issues.

Insufficient proper planning

Techies like to jump in and start right away, unfortunately this can mean that there is a degree of planning lacking in a project. It is important to have a proper understanding of the scope of a project before you begin, this is “what is project management” in a nutshell. However, if this scope is unclear or not explored properly, your project is being set up for failure. 

After all, a successful project begins with successful planning

A selection of technologies

If the chosen technologies and tools are not right for the project, then even the best project manager cannot save things. Selecting the best range of technologies for your project is incredibly important. You may have to brainstorm which would be the best approach with others to weed out which would be the best for your needs. It’s also essential to not just opt for technology that works ‘for now’, but consider whether this would support your needs into the future. 

Not managing scope creep

It is easy to lose focus on your project when you are presented with new ideas. They might be good, but at some point you need to be able to put a stop to them in order to deliver on the project.

Brainstorming for ideas should take place in the early stages of the project so that the right technologies can be selected. If these ideas happen later on when you have already selected your technologies, they may not be the right ones for the job. 

Poor communication 

Communication is key for any project and where you have poor communication it is all too easy to have IT project failure. These problems occur mostly when some people simply don’t keep everyone in the loop, or spend time properly breaking down complex technical language into something the whole team can understand.