In baseball, if you fail to get a hit seven out of 10 times, that's a .300 average and you're regarded as a top performer. But CIOs don't play baseball. They play the game of business, and failing seven out of 10 times is not only embarrassing, it's unacceptable.
That's why I took a hard look at some of the startling statistics that CIO has uncovered over the past few issues. In "When Failure Is Not an Option", we cited a biennial study by the Standish Group reporting that just 29 percent of IT projects conducted in 2004 were completed on time, on budget, and with all features and functions originally specified. In "Federal IT Flunks Out", we identified a minimum of eight government projects that either have failed already or seem about to do so. And the government has already spent more than US$12 billion on these projects!
Trust me when I say that I am the CIO's biggest champion and understand that it's not always (or even often) the CIO's fault when projects fail or go substantially over budget. But as CIOs begin to lead growth initiatives for their businesses, it's imperative that they build trust with their CXO peers. Hitting .300 in today's business world just ain't going to cut it, and it will certainly not get you into anyone's Hall of Fame.
How can projects get so out of control? How can so many projects fail? Is it the system, the talent, the expectations? I would love to hear your thoughts because the only way that CIOs will ultimately get the respect they deserve is when they can stand tall and deliver on their promises.
Michael Friedenberg, President and CEO
P.S.: This Aug. 20-22, CIO will host our annual CIO 100, where we will celebrate 100 CIOs who have not only succeeded in meeting expectations but exceeded them, driving innovation in their respective organizations. If you have time, it would be great for you to join us, to celebrate their accomplishments and learn from their practices. For more information, go to www.cio.com/conferences. Hope to see you there!
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.