Causes of Failure of IS

18 Feb

It is said that over 70% of IS projects fail. “Failures are usually in terms of projects that are late or over budget, an inability to fully realise the expected benefits or gain the acceptance and enthusiastic support of users and management” (Cannon, J. A., 1994). Cannon describes failure as a number of events that occur within a project that does not enable it to conform to specification and obtains it’s mission.

According to Glen Lally , there are 4 different types of failures:

  1. Correspondence failure : The IS fails to meet it’s design objective
  2. Process Failure: The IS overruns its budgets or time constraints
  3. Interaction Failure: The users maintain low or non-interaction  with the IS.
  4. Expectation Failure: The IS doesn’t meet stakeholders expectations.

The type of failure and the level of failure must also be defined clearly, as failure can represent different circumstances to different people or organisations. Within IS failure you can have organisational, technical, human… failure. The level at which failure can occur varies depending on the party who assesses how much thefailure is worth to them in terms of financial, competitiveness value (Goulielmos, 2003).

Glen Lally also suggested that there should be levels of failures. Level one failure is considered as a minor failure , as the final IS project does still meet its objectives and is completed. Level two failure is considered as a major failure as the IS project does not meet all of its requirements and will not be achieved within budget or on time. Level three is critical failure and the IS project does not meet any of its requirements or objectives. It is most likely to be scrapped after running over time and budget.


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