Knowing what created the need for the project in the first place is valuable information. Assessing the internal politics and standing of the initiators is also key. Sadly well-conceived projects with demonstrable business value may fail if the initiation is stuffed and those with influence are not involved. Poorly conceived "projects" may get traction if the sponsor gets carried away with enthusiasm.
Of course many companies are truly customer and business focussed and do not suffer from internal politics... long may they live on... and probably will.
One project I proposed took 8 years before it got off the ground. The politics had changed in the interim.
I agree overall with the points made. I have seen "projects" running that were not. As an IS/IT manager I terminated one such when I took over. Achieving this was a saga due to selling job that had been done before I arrived. (The supplier went bust a year +- after we exitted our contract. I had applied CMM criteria to them as best as I could and with judious questioning and knew we had to get out.) Another "project" had spent $50m and rising. Concerned by the poor state of it, I produced a document making similar points to the above. It was squashed by internal politics. I was an external consultant I did get paid!
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