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IT projects are legendary for high failure rates, cost overruns, and schedule overruns. Hence the motivations for questions like this.

Is there any actual empirical research that compares the failure rates of IT projects to those in other domains, in particular to engineering domains?

For example, has anybody compared cost and schedule overruns in IT projects to construction projects of comparable scope? There should be publicly available data here from government projects, but I'm not aware of anybody who's gone and done comparisons.

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Very interesting question, though it may be hard to compare scope. –  Michael Borgwardt Jul 30 '12 at 0:20
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There are no direct comparison of which I am aware, unfortunately. Andrew Edkins at University College London has studied both construction and IT failures, but he has not published comparative stats.

For anything related to this topic, check out my IT Project Failures blog at ZDNet.

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