IT Project Failures: Lessons from the Ashes

Alton Y.K. Chua, Snehasish Banerjee

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Most companies generally spend about four to five per cent of its revenue on IT, with those in the financial and telecommunications sectors exceeding more than 10 percent. Despite the high stakes involved, IT project failure rates remain disturbingly significant. According to a 2016 Project Management Institute research, the global average for IT projects deemed failures stands at 14 percent. A failed IT project is defined as one which is either terminated, or is unable to meet its original budget, schedule or requirements specified at the beginning.

This book specifically examines eight high-profile cases of IT project failures. They include the delayed delivery of Airbus A380, the seven-hour outage of the Development Bank of Singapore’s ATM machines, the termination of the ambitious paperless shares trading system at the London Stock Exchange, the termination of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s virtual case file system, the chaotic deployment of an enterprise resource planning system at Hershey, the dysfunctional roll-out of the ambulance-dispatching system at the London Ambulance Service, the cancellation of a sophisticated customer relationship management system built for Sky UK and the scrapping of the automated baggage handling system implemented at the Denver International Airport.

The book fills a crucial under-represented niche in the area of IT project management. It reviews an assortment of bona fide failed IT projects from different industries and geographical locations through a consistent analytical lens. Each case is discussed on the basis of eight facets of IT project management, namely, scope, time, cost, quality, human resource, communications, risk and outsourcing, where applicable. Actual ground situations are juxtaposed against theories to help readers gain both practical and theoretically robust insights into key IT project management concepts. The case-ending pedagogy includes questions for discussion that are intended to spark critical thinking, debate and discussion about best practices. Overall, the book hopes to whet the appetite of its readers for IT project management.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherPearson Publishers
ISBN (Print)9789813133518
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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