Reasons Behind IT Project Failure: The Case of Jordan

Reasons Behind IT Project Failure: The Case of Jordan

Emad Abu-Shanab, Ashraf Al-Saggar
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3658-3.ch011
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Information Technology (IT) projects have high failure and escalation rates because of the nature of domain and the rapid technology changes. It is important to understand the factors causing IT project success or failure. This chapter reviews the literature related to project failure and escalation and concludes with 17 important factors that cause IT projects to fail and 10 factors that contribute to the escalation of projects in time, cost, or scope. The concluded factors are utilized in an empirical study to explore the Jordanian environment and check the rank of these factors as perceived by Jordanian specialists. Conclusions and future work are stated at the end of this chapter.
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Literature Review

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays an essential part in our life and the way we react to external environmental factors. It is essential that information system projects be properly scoped and implemented successfully; many of national surveys showed that around 70-80% of all information technology and information systems projects fail totally or suffer from partial failure. Such rates of failure might be caused by lack of certain factors that are explored in the literature under the name of critical success factors (Yeo, 2002).

All projects, IT or otherwise, move through five phases in the project management lifecycle: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. Each phase contains processes that move the project from idea to implementation.

Basic Project and Project Management Definitions

The Project Management Institute (PMI, 2004, p. 5) defines project as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. Temporary means that every project has a definite beginning and a definite end. Unique means that the product or service is different in some distinguishing way from all similar products or services.” Yourdon (1997, p. 9) also defines project management as the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.” He indicates that the role of the project manager is to facilitate the entire process and meet the needs and expectations of involved personnel and project stakeholders affected by project activities.

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