ICT Project: Failure And Success Factors

The monthly news papers announce the ICT project are developed, failures of astronomical proportions in developed and developing countries. For failure of the project the common reasons are delay in deadline, cost overburden, and some of the projects will not reach the expectation levels.

In developing countries the ICT literature shows that the planning and management of projects has a very poor record, the issues for failure of ICT projects can be analyzed by assuming that learning from IS failures will provide the important lessons for formulating the success plan for the planning, developing, implementation and management of information system While discussing dimensions of ICT failure, both horizontal and vertical dimensions of the informatics model considers by Beynon-Davies. The difference between development failure and use failure is expressed in terms of horizontal dimension and the vertical dimension expressed the failure at the level of ICT systems, IS project, or organisation, or at the level of the external environment. There are six types of IS failure are Identified listed below

Technical failure

Project failure

Organizational failure

Environmental failure

Developmental failure

Use failure

Beynon-Davies supports the argument with several case studies and quotes other models for IS failure

Factors for failure:

The failure factors will occur when the proper implementation of ICT projects in government. These factors can be barrier or inhibitors by these factors as observed in this section can be social-culture, institutional and political, funding, infrastructure and technology.

“Barriers can be considered as those occurrences that hinder ICT implementation some of those factors for failure”



Poor data system and lack of compatibility

Skilled personnel

Leadership style, culture


“Inhibitors do not necessarily prevent the implementation of the ICT projects but they do prevent advancement and restrict successful implementation and sustainability. Some of these factors for failures”

user needs



ICT policy

Transfer of ICT idolisers

Donor push

Those above factors are used for the purpose of design a theoretical framework (ref 1)

Partial failure of an idea, in which main objectives are unattained or in which there are significant undesirable outcomes. Connected with partial failure is the sustainability failure where a project first succeeds but is then abandoned after a year or so.

Sustainability Failure Model (partial failure)

This model provides a better structure for examining sustainability longitudinally. There is five principal consist of sustainability failures, they are listed below:

Financial/economic sustainability failures :

Example: if the client supported program loses its funding after some fixed time of process and has to shutdown.

Cultural/social sustainability failures:

Example: from the project some stakeholders will gain but others are hurt. This tension is not reasonable over time and results in the subsequent sustainability failure.

Technological sustainability failure:

Example: The field hardware and software are outdated and no longer companionable with the equipment within the central offices. These also look at the importance of the content provided.

Political failure:

Example: the local winner leaves and without larger institutional arrangements in place the project fails.

Environmental sustainability failure:

Example: if the project will lose their usefulness then the project plan could be reusable, if the projects without plans for reusing then the environmental sustainability failure.


Critical Success and Critical Failure Factor Model:

The CSF and CFF model will explain success or failure of an ICT projects can be understand in terms of several CSF and CFF factors. Ten critical factors can be organized listed below

Information factors relating to provision of content

Technical factors such as user-friendliness of hardware and software, the capacity of use different hardware and software platforms, etc

People factors such as availability of knowledge persons, proper guidance in use of hardware and software, etc

Management factors, such as proper administration and organizational practices for bringing the required modifications through ICT projects

Process factors, such as desired changes or to make the project successful in reaching its objectives a new process will design

Cultural factors, such as improvement in organizational culture for successful implementation of new projects

Structural factors, such as structural inflexibility in traditional organizational structures that may be a cause for failure of ICT projects

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Strategic factors, such as assessments that cover a wide range of services

Political factors, such as political and stakeholders support

Environmental factors, such as changes in the overall external environment of the project


The ten critical factors categories into seven critical dimensions: they are Technology, Information, Processes, Objectives and values, Staffing and skills, Management and structures, and other resources. This framework requirement consider the gaps that exist in the design of the project and the authenticity along these seven dimensions (ref 2)

CASE STYDY: Gyandoot project

The Gyandoot project started in the year 2000, the government of Madhya Pradesh initiates this project. The aim of the project is to set up intranet based kiosk in villages to providing information about the agricultural practices and update the market prices and also providing some Government services like cast and income certificates online application, land records copies, and online systems to know about the computer awareness and access all this services.

This project is failed to reach its goal and the user usage is low.

Reasons for the failure of the project

The back end processes is not computerized

In the rural areas lack of supporting ICT infrastructure,

In proper plans for better services delivery

Financial problems for the owned kiosks

Lack of relevant content critical

Lack of Computerization of the back-end processes:

The Gyandoot project has computerized only front-end but not the back end. The management is not yet successful in the electronically transmitting the services request to all departments from its intranet server. Almost all transaction are handled manually at the back end of the Gyandoot intranet server, because all govt departments currently perform their tasks manually

Example: The citizen will submit the online application and waiting at telekisok for a response, but at the back end the government department levels are not computerised so they will print out the application or request or complaints and send to the government department to further action, after receiving report from the govt departments the data entry operators will enter the response in the gyandoot intranet. For this process the time frame is seven days

To make better and speed service response time, the all departments required to undertake the significant changes reengineering exercise to improve the information process methods and quality of services, that will possible when all departments introduce the computers in the different departments levels. The gyandoot smaiti have the authority and financial power to change the individual departments the authority exists only with the state government (ref 3)

Lack of supporting ICT infrastructure in the villages:

Introducing E-government project in any poor rural area it is a huge challenge of the technology point of view. Presently there is lack of supporting infrastructure available for Soochnalaya as all of the Soochanalayas (Kiosk) are in villages. In the Dhār district the Tele-communication infrastructure is quite low and telekisoks are unable to provide the voice services and electric power supply is less, the systems and kiosks are working with the help of the UPS which having battery and the capacity to work four hours if it is charged fully. It takes eight to ten hours to charge but most of the village’s current supply will break down every three or four hours. A number of technical approaches to provide the basic network were initially evaluated. Gyandoot rejected both LAN and VAST approaches as being too costly and using dial-up network using modems over existing telephone lines which is not speed and many times the connection will break down in between a process. And the process will get delay due to weak connectivity, that connection was found to be unreliable and many kiosks are suffering huge problems of connecting to the intranet server (ref 4)

Lack of relevant content is critical:

The farmers are getting loss for not updating the market prices and they are selling the outdated prices and the number of services offers by kiosk but only some of them are using, the information should be in local language then the user can easily understand, and the user can visit Soochanalaya to know the update information about the agriculture, and market price etc, if the content is in local language then the women can understand the information about the healthcare and childcare and to increasing the usage of Soochanalaya

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The kiosks made up with low investment because infrastructure bottlenecks, and the slow network is using which is dialup connectivity and not stable power supply at least 6- 8 hours power supply will be cut so for working the kiosks added additional power backup, the availability of electrical power determines the times during which the soochanalaya can be opened.

Encourage the privately owned kiosk owner to offer other services like computer training, photocopying and public telephone to cover the loss of revenue, so that the owner can focus on other services.

In Dhar district the awareness of the gyandoot still quite low level among the villagers, especially the poor and labours, in spite of significant media attention and publicity in Dhar district, the 60% of the non-users did not use gyandoot because they thing that no need, and 35% of people are not aware about the services offered by gyandoot and 5% of citizen have negative impression about the gyandoot.

Even though grievance filing has been structured through a list of options, many complaints are sent using the e-mail facility in local languages, which make them difficult or impossible to address.

Transfer of senior staffs: the main key factors of the project is the initial team of the project and the team of the district officer has conceived the plan and implemented it and they know the total project but once the government official is getting transferred and the new members will come and takes a time to understand the project (process) and slowly reverted to their unresponsive attitude to citizens. (ref 5)

The govt of MP could be including these techniques to make project success: (in my opinion)

May it is possibly to judge the viability of the gyandoot system, it take some time in the rural areas. To building awareness about the project and the usage of the ICT application in rural areas may take more time than expected by the project team. This holds true especially when the value proposition for the citizen is weak as in the case of gyandoot project in which one part of the entire process is computerized,

To provide speed service, the district level department need to computerize and significantly reengineering in terms of having built up software application that processes and monitors the progress of applications or complaints received. The roles and responsibilities of government officers need to be clearly divided. In each department, IT enthusiasts could be recognized who could be in charge for a complete end-to-end delivery of a service to the citizen.

In the Gyandoot project the dial-up telephone lines is using to connect the gyanddot intranet and district head quarters, which is slow process and interrupt in between the process. If wifi or LAN will use in the place of dial-up telephone lines then the project might be success in speed delivery, update information


The women user is not visiting the gyandoot soochanalaya, but some services will very useful to women like healthcare and childcare, few experiment have to designed to encourage them to visit the kiosk.

Example: there is an online contest of finding the healthiest child, so the mother bring the children of one to three years of age to the kiosks and provide all relevant data online to district headquarters, the selection was made from the basic data received from all the kiosks and result will announce in the kiosk intranet.

My opinion about the gyandoot project failed:

This factors might be reasons for failure of gyandoot project:


The literacy percentage in INDIA is low especially in rural areas the literacy percentage is very low this might be a reason for the ICT project failures, and the citizen have no idea about the services provided by the projects like in the case of the Gyandoot project in Dhar district, in Dhar district the literacy rate is very low and the people don’t know about the services offered by the Gyandoot Soochanalaya.

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Women’s (users and soochak)

This could be a reason for the Gyandoot project failure, not encouraging women’s to work as Soochak(manage person), because there is a some useful services for women’s like healthcare, childcare, etc if the manage person is women then she can attract the user(women’s) and explain about the services that offered by Gyandoot Soochanalaya


Trust is one of the social concept that helps the service centres (soochanalaya), the service provider and user need to trust each other, to develop the user trust the Soochanalaya need to provide speed service and update information and also provide some free services to attract the user and develop the user trust. In the gyandoot project the user trust is low because delay in work, not updating market prices, etc


The management should maintain the Soochanalaya, and update the information up to date, if any new service is included in gyandoot then the management have to arrange the meeting with soochak and explain about the service, so that soochak can inform to user about the service and benefits. In the case of gyandoot project the management has failed to update the information up to date. (Market prices has not updated on up to date for that framers getting loss with selling old price)

Staff and skill:

The staff should be well trained about the IT and uses of the technology, so that they can provide good service and trained the rural people to aware about the computer and technology, so that they can easily use all services which are available on internet. The govt official the staff changes then appoint the trained staff to easily understand the projects. But in the case of gyandoot project in place of old district officer appoint a new district officers, and he/she had took a good time to understood the whole process and delay in the service providing to citizen

Language: the literacy is poor in the rural areas and some citizen can read only in the local language, and in the rural areas people are unaware about the internet and its uses, and the internet is dominated by the English language this also a reasons for the ICT projects failures in rural areas.

Communication: the communication gap between the employees and users might be a reason for project failure,

Example: the employs have to communicate with each other so that they can develop the knowledge and skills, if the employs have good communication with government departments then the services will speed and with the communication only we can develop the trust and explain about the services available in the project so the usage of the services will increase.


The number of ICT project failure in developed and developing countries, and it is not possible to judge the project is success/failure on the basic factors like technical, organizational, etc. If the user satisfies the services provided from the project and its usage always helps the project to move towards success, some project are completed within the time and budget but failure to reach the objective (goals) or the project is completed within the time and budget and reach it all requirements but, lack adaptability at the present condition this is also one reason for the project failure

To develop a successful project the Project Manager should have a clear vision and proper planning. And the developing part of the project should be clear (means easily understand the process) if the client requested to merging with new technologies then reusing the developed plans and add the new technologies & software’s, and no one can judge the IT project is success or failure It depends upon the end user satisfaction. Like in the gyandoot project, the project completed in time and on budget but the user usage is quite low, and the users are not satisfied with services.

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