When an IT project's performance metrics incorporate its business value and benefits they completely contradict the Standish Group's 2006 statistics indicating that two-thirds of IT projects perform poorly or fail and only one-third succeed. In fact, the research reveals that some IT projects actually over-achieve on targets.
The research comprised two independent studies in the U.S. and U.K. Researchers examined survey responses from a total of 741 project managers with 15 years or more experience in the IT industry and eight or more years managing projects.
The research team used a data-driven clustering method that identified five types of project groups reported in the surveys: abandoned, budget-challenged, schedule-challenged, good performers and star performers.
Using the new performance metrics, the research found that two-thirds of IT projects perform well and only one-third were challenged or abandoned. What's more, it is the first research to report projects that over-performed on budget and scope.
"We need a new benchmark for what is reasonably achievable in IT projects," says researcher Dr. Andrew Gemino of Simon Fraser University.
Based on his research, experienced project managers should be able to come within small margins (plus or minus seven percent) of their budget, schedule and scope targets on at least two out of every three projects.