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Industry Stats: Project Outcomes by Industry & Causes of Failure

By Blake Young | Marketing Manager

INSIGHTS // Reports

22 Feb 2013


INSIGHTS // Reports


By Blake Young

22 Feb 2013

In 2012, project postponements and cancellations remained at a high 10%. When examining individual industry performance, it was interesting to see that Financial Services projects fell almost exactly on par with industry average:

  • Completed on time, budget and scope – 37% (-2%)
  • Completed with significant changes to scope – 21% (+1%)
  • Completed over time/budget – 31% (+2%)
  • Unsuccessful projects – Postponed 6%, Cancelled 4%

No significant fluctuations in the portion of projects completed on time, budget and scope were observed amongst those industries best-represented in the 2012 Index. This however, was not the case when it came to other project outcomes.

Of these industries, Government registered the weakest performance if looking exclusively at projects coming in on time, budget and scope (5% below average at 34%), and number of unsuccessful projects (3% above average at 13%). But when looking at the number of projects that completed over time/budget, this compared favourably against both the Financial Services and Software Development/IT industries.

Planit Testing Index 2012: Project Outcomes by Industry

Financial Services 

  On time, budget and scope   Significant changes   Over time/budget    Postponed  Cancelled 


Software Development & IT 

  On time, budget and scope   Significant changes   Over time/budget    Postponed  Cancelled 



  On time, budget and scope   Significant changes   Over time/budget    Postponed  Cancelled 

The one area of the SDLC that is always associated with project failure is poor or changing business requirements. In 2012 this was no different, unfortunately rising to 68 percent and increase of 9 percent over previous years. The other major contributor to project failure was reduction in budgets at 12 percent, on the positive side this was down from 14 percent in 2011.

One area that showed a marked improvement was changes to government policy at 5 percent down from 12 percent in 2011.

Planit Testing Index 2012: Causes of Project Failure

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