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The Prosperus Report 2008

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The Prosperus Report 2008: IT Project Management Maturity vs. Project Success in South Africa.

The success rate of IT projects remains questionable, as do the benefits that an organisation receives from investing in project management capability. The 2006 CHOS report states that only one in three IT projects is a success and contributes to the overall success of an organisation.

A similar study was conducted in South Africa to determine IT project management maturity of organisations as well as the success rate of the IT projects. Through an extensive survey over 200 respondents, it was found that 27% of projects failed, 36% were challenged and 37% were considered a success. The average perceived maturity of organisations was found to be 2.97, while the actual maturity was calculated as 3.61. No correlation could be found between success rate and maturity of project management.

The results show that project outcome is influenced by direction, people and processes. Direction and people are the key to the success of a project, while a lack of people and processes leads to failure. People therefore form the crux of successful project.

The two main areas of concern, organisations can put measures in place to improve these areas to ensure a better IT project success rate.

From the findings the following recommendations are made:

1.       Organisations must provide clear guidance on how to measure the outcome of an IT project.

2.       Small projects should not be underestimated. The same attention and focus must be applied to the management of small projects as to large projects.

3.       Alignment between business objectives and projects is crucial. Poor alignment can lead to wasted effort and resources despite completing a project within the triple constraints.

4.       A good relationship between customer and project team is fundamental to project success. Projects require a collaborative environment and not an adversarial one.


The benefit of this research is that it provides a comparative report in relation to the USA’s CHAOS Chronicles. By having a better understanding of IT project management within the South African context, organisations can benchmark themselves to determine performance as well as areas that are in need of improvement.


Good project management practices, especially in the IT sector, are essential for any growing economy.


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