Posted by: kerrywills | December 19, 2014

Project failures, by the numbers

Every year, the Standish Group comes out with their “Chaos Report” which surveys projects and companies to determine project success and failures. The 2014 version came out and has some pretty dismal results…

  • 31% of projects will be cancelled before they get completed
  • 7% of projects will cost nearly double (189%) of their original estimates
  • Only 16% of projects get completed on time and on budget; with a rate of 9% for large companies
  • Completed projects have only approximately 42% of originally planned features


I truly believe that the failure of projects is a direct result of increasing business, organizational and technology complexity. Programs have more stakeholders, integration points, applications, technology solutions, activities and challenges than ever before. I also believe that the only way to manage this complexity is through diligence, structure and attention to detail. My second book, Applying Guiding Principles of Effective Program Delivery focused on these principles and how to apply them. Without managing programs with a set of principles like this we will see continued failures in programs because the complexity trend will continue.

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