Information systems development projects (ISD) are characterized by high rates of failure and escalation. To address this concern, in this paper a novel explanation for the poor performance is developed, which explores the influence two variables: task variance and task dependence. The findings suggest that the improvement in performance has been slow because of the interactive effect of the two variables driving both the level of, and variance in, performance. To address this problem, the paper concludes with a number of practical suggestions.