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ICT project success or failure: The Reasons and the link with business-IT alignment forms

When: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 01:00 PM
Where: Sheikh Zayed Hall at Ajman Campus


Using the project management work breakdown structure (WBS) tool, E-transformation can be seen
as a portfolio of ICT projects aligned within the business in the enterprise. Thus, the success or failure
of E-transformation depends on the following three factors:

  • The best enterprise business-IT alignment.
  • The success of each IT project (project management), and
  • The integration and interdependencies of the ICT projects (portfolio Management)

Reasons 1 and 3 represent the business-IT alignment in its strategic and tactical form, while reason 2
represents the business-IT alignment in its operational form
Many of the previous attempts to answer the question “why do ICT projects succeed? Or fail?”, have
treated the question (or the problem) from a single point of focus, such as people, techniques,
cultures, technology and experience. It was noticed that the bigger the project, the bigger the
probability of failure, because, IT project management in general, and its implementation, especially,
is complex and challenging.

The answer to the above question is, “No one prevented them from failing. Theoretically, We define
success as a lack of failure and failure as a lack of success. If you eliminate the possibility for failure,
the only possibility you have left is success. And that requires knowing your definition of success.”
As eliminating the reasons and possibilities for failure in all the stages of project management, and
“building the right things”. This implies eliminating the possibility of “building the wrong things.”
This will lead to defining the critical success factors as those needed to eliminate the key deficiency

This paper gathers the reasons of project success and failure from many resources – literature review,
best practices and author’s long experience – classified and grouped them, and linked them to
Business-IT alignment forms, to conclude that in most cases the main reasons behind project success
or failure is mishandling the project business context and the business executives.

Contact: Dr. Mounir El Khatib  - Ajman Campus.
E-mail: ,