Analyst dismisses Forrester IT project failure claims

An analyst has dismissed a survey by Forrester which claimed that only 40 percent of IT projects meet their goals.

A new report from Forrester shows high levels of dissatisfaction on both sides, and suggests more “integrated thinking” is needed.

But writing in ZDNET, analyst Joe McKendrick dismissed the findings as being a “sound bite.”

He said that his 39 percent figure was optimistic compared to other studies done over the years, such as Standish Group’s Chaos report, which suggests that only 30 percent of projects meet their goals.

While it was true that there were many areas where IT organisations don’t seem to be cutting the mustard, users were not making life easier.

McKendrick pointed out that looking at the Forrester/EffectiveUI figures in another way it would appear that user organizational dysfunction is what keeps sending IT projects down in flames.

More than half of the IT executives, 56 percent say the biggest problem they have is users constantly changing requirements on projects in midstream.

Half of the IT leaders also say their departments are overburdened, and they end up “trying to do too much at once.” More than one-third, 34 percent, believe they lack clear executive direction, while another 34 percent point to a lack of the right development talent.

While Forrester produces figures which show that business’ satisfaction with IT is lower than half, only a quarter of decision-makers place top priority on updating and modernising key legacy applications.

Only a fifth consider mobile to be important enough to be bothered about.

In short, users are getting the IT that they deserve.

“Technology is only a tool — it by itself won’t put function into a dysfunctional organisation,” McKendrick said.