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This article may help you to develop a checklist of items that need to be addressed, from which you could forecast unforeseen and unanticipated events impacting your project. We've addressed the main points of avoiding project failure: pessimistic or overoptimistic people, integration issues, and inadequate project management—but the reasons for failures and the resulting impacts can be complex (see the following table).


Failure Type


Hershey Foods

ERP system implementation failure, leading to massive distribution problem

Loss of 27% market capitalization

FoxMeyer Drug

ERP system implementation failure

Company collapsed

IRS project on taxpayer compliance

Over a decade to complete

Cost the country $50 billion per year

Oregon DMV

Eight years to complete

Public outcry killing the project

State of Florida welfare system

Computer errors

$260 million in overpayments and $58 million in underpayments


Source: CPM Solutions article "When Projects Fail."

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