Don’t be Part of the 24% Failure Rate

Yes it’s true, everyone fails from time to time but do IT projects fail more than the average? According to the Standish Group, a technology research group and consultancy, who publishes the ‘Chaos Report’ covering IT project failure rates, reported in 2009 24% of all IT projects ‘failed’. 44% of projects were considered ‘challenged’, making only 32% of projects ‘successful’. Why is that? It’s not because the technology isn’t good enough or the people managing the projects aren’t diligent enough. It’s because every major technology initiatives has its pitfalls and knowing those pitfalls in advance can make you that much more successful. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid when implementing Process Intelligence.

Focus on Business Value Where’s the Business Value?
Identify what you’re going to measure first. Knowing what to measure is important because what you measure is what you are going to try to improve. In this case, you need to focus on the metrics that will deliver real business value. Everyone starts off with the right intentions but if you derive the wrong actions from the wrong KPIs, you might harm your organization more than help. This is one of the most common stumbling blocks I see in any Process Intelligence initiative.

Where’s the Focus?
There are tons of processes and KPIs to measure across any organization but don’t go crazy. Understand the power of measuring operational processes but don’t try to measure every KPI, or worse your favorite KPIs, or even the ones which you consider the easiest KPIs. Focus on the KPIs that will provide insight into the processes you want to improve. The purpose of Process Intelligence is to improve business performance. Find out which KPIs are essential for your business and which processes impact those KPIs. Measure those processes by picking the most important KPIs for the process. Sometimes it’s best to simply start with one process and grow over time.

Where’s the Stakeholders?
In a Process Intelligence project you measure KPIs to see how your operational processes are performing with the goal of transparency. You might love it – others might not. So to avoid conflicts later involve all key stakeholders early. And be sure to involve both business and IT people. Without the support of business, you’ll struggle to understand the business process, making it hard to identify the right KPIs. You need IT’s support to set up your Process Intelligence software and to extract the KPIs out of the different systems. Most importantly, both sides should see the Process Intelligence project as a partnership. Everyone should look forward to using the tool to improve performance and better position their requirements in the organization.

Avoid these 3 stumbling blocks and become part of the 32% not the 24%.

About Joerg Klueckmann

Joerg Klueckmann has written 30 posts in this blog.

Joerg Klueckmann is head of Enterprise BPM at Software AG. He studied sociology, business administration and intercultural communication at FSU, Jena, Germany, and at Louisiana State University in the U.S., where he graduated with distinction. Prior to joining Software AG, Joerg was head of product marketing at Intershop and IDS Scheer. He has written numerous articles about business process management, business innovation and process intelligence.


  • I see Process Intelligence initiatives fail all the time because the business value is not clearly outlined. This is a common problem and I’m glad you addressed it in your post.

  • Thanks Rebecca, I just let the Process Intelligence users talk:

    “At Motorola, we want to be seamless on the inside and the outside. webMethods helped us get there faster by ensuring complete visibility throughout the order process in order to meet and exceed the needs of our customers.”
    Charles Soto, Sr. Director, Enterprise, eBusiness and Integration

    “ARIS increased the reliability of our internal control and strengthened its monitoring. It integrates our reporting into a single and comprehensive system, which provides us with an in-depth and real-time view of the controls’ status.”
    Béatrice Layemar, Head of Internal Control Department, Technip

    “All participants in the process can now contribute proactively and have the same awareness of the actual key performance indicators. We saw a huge reduction in throughput times with the new process monitoring functionality.”
    Markus Witschi, Operations Manager for SMEs, Swisscom

    More examples can be found here:

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