Pleading for A Quality-Intensive Approach



There are some worrying statistics related to the IT projects performance. Obviously, these facts belong to an educated and fair environment where failure is recognized and assumed. Basically, these data are collected from USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Australia.

Most likely, in different business cultures, where only the winners are awarded and failure is a deadly sin, these data look differently.

Let’s see to what Harvard Business Review states (see Behnam Tabrizi, Ed Lam, Kirk Girard and Vernon Irvin. Digital transformation Is Not About Technology. March 2019):

  1. More than 70% of the IT projects fail;
  2. Only 2.5% of the IT projects touch the initial projected scope;
  3. More than $100 Bl (some said that the number is 140 bl) in US and 30bl pounds in UK are wasted for failed IT projects;
  4. The costs of IT projects exceed the projected financial framework with minimum 50%; however, at large projects costs exceed with 200%
  5. In 2018, world reported $1.4 trillion invested in digital transformation initiatives; more than $900 bl were wasted for failed or irrelevant projects (HBR)
  6. During the last years, the number of the failed IT projects is increasing.

Everybody knows the truth; all avoid speaking out about it


Specialists have different explanations related to the causes of failures.


  1. CIOs report that communication with business teams is the problem.
  2. Operational people report that communication and project management is the main reason.
  3. CEOs report communication, complexity of the projects and lack of skills of the software providers.
  4. Consultants consider that the structure of the project management team (the technologists as managers for digital transformation ventures).
  5. All refer that the permanent disputes and misunderstandings about the goals affect the scope and quality of the IT projects.
  6. The agile and design thinking leaders claim there is a gap between pilot procedure and upscaling model.

And many other explanations…

As a matter of fact, all these managers and specialists are right; however, reasoning definitions are not accurate. It is clear that something goes wrong here


We believe that the problem is related to business analysis methodology. There are three business analysis methods:

1. Traditional / ITIL-based that produces text outcomes based on never-ending interviews sessions, about “as-is” and a confusing story about “to-be”.
2. Agile method that aims to combine the business analysis and IT skills. The mess is increasing and usually the budgets of these projects are exceeded by more than 100%
3. Design Thinking. Design of business is an outstanding idea and a generous approach. However, the implementation of the theory (design thinking methodology) has a few problems. Firstly, it may last forever, and secondly, the attempts (design sprints) to shorten the processes are focused more on fail fast and often rather than on building a sustainable projects outcome design.

It is obvious that today, ITIL and other text-based methods do not work anymore because of the transformation of people’s attention; agile is not touching the promised results, design thinking still looking for a sustainable approach. For sure, all of them have problems in providing both reliable quality and quantity benefits. The scoping framework is never touched, and the quality aspects are never provided.

After more than 30 years in the field of designing, managing and implementation IT projects, we can argue that failure reasons are rooted in the educational model changes and in the internet impact on people minds and knowledge behaviors. Despite some knowledge being captured and processed based on other processes, the business analysts are using the same obsolete methods for capturing information, processing data and displaying the results.

Therefore, using visual instruments for project communication is becoming critical. It is a required shift in approaching the business analysis from text-based traditional model, to an exclusive visual model. In this new knowledge building paradigm, only a visual model of business analysis allows a common, unequivocal understanding and a communication platform between business and IT people, thus ensuring the success of projects.


A note: Project are designed with- and executed by people. If we want to create a reliable and sustainable project implementation framework, we cannot ignore the evolution and changes of human behaviors in connection to knowledge building. Especially in the digital realm.

We consider that the visual business analysis framework (the methodology of convergence) creates the context for a more quality-intensive approach. Below is a tested and validated graph showing expected evolution of quality and quantity gains, for a project based on Axiobit’s method, compared to traditional methods:

The Methodology Case Of Digital Projects

Methodology of Convergence vs. ITIL based methodologies

The methodology of convergence (quick and thorough navigation through the “knowledge funnel” and trans-disciplinary approach) presents two distinctive advantages compared to the more traditional methods:

1. Higher qualitative benefits: the quality benefits are defined, designed and captured during the business analysis part, which allows the technology to deliver all the potential quantitative benefits. Among other things, these benefits refer to design of disruptive models through innovation and a significant knowledge transfer to the future users.

2. Higher quantitative benefits: the qualitative leap (obtained in the first stages) sets the foundation and is essential in successfully finalizing the project and achieving outstanding quantitative results.