Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Students and academics rarely receive an opportunity to investigate and learn from failed projects even though many organizations restrict access to information about failed projects in order to minimize reputational damage (Chua & Lam, 2005). However, failure cases can provide unique insights that one often ignores or cannot explore in successful projects (Lyytinen & Robey, 1999). To facilitate this learning, we present a teaching case based on an outsourced information systems development project that commenced in 2010 and was terminated in 2013. We observe the project’s failure from the viewpoint of the vendor to illustrate how misspecified requirements and insufficient understanding of the client organization’s specific requirements can lead to project failures. We derived the case description and analyses by conducting seven interviews with project team members and by analyzing 14 business requirement specification documents.