The Life Cycles of Failed Projects

When even more money and more time can’t prevent project disasters

IT projects rarely fail all at once. Instead, these failures tend to snowball, growing larger and more hopeless as time goes on. Along the way, the definition of success is prone to mutation, as deadlines get pushed back and budgets increase. That’s how a project can launch “ahead of schedule” even if it’s more than three years late.

To illustrate this evolution toward catastrophe, we’ve reconstructed the budget and deadline history of a handful of the most egregious IT project debacles of the last decade.