According to the Standish Group's just-released report, CHAOS Summary 2009; 32% of IT projects are on time, on budget, with the required business functions; 44% of IT projects are either late, over budget, and/or missing required business functions; the remaining IT projects (24%) are cancelled. This means in general a new IT has about a 4 in 10 shot of being a successful business project, which means that the odds are that it will most likely fail in some way. In fact out of 100 IT projects about 25 of them will be cut!
In fact it is even worst than it seems, these numbers are worst than last year's. Believe it or not, these are the lowest number in the last five years!
So what does this mean to you (assuming someone is reading this and that they work in IT)? Well, it means that most of the projects that you have work on in the resent pass have failed in some way. It also means that IT as a whole needs to improve their delivery of projects.
So what can IT do? We can try harder at understanding our business clients. The other day I saw a blog that got me thinking about how if you really want to understand your business clients you will have to become one, you will have to "Eat Your Own Dog Food". I read some where, that Amazon developers have to sometime every couple of years shadowing their business clients. I think this is a great idea, if you see how your business client really uses your software you will be better able to understand there needs and their pain points.
Now I do not think that sitting with your business clients every couple of years will allow IT projects to become more successful, but I think it would help.