Critical Failure Factors (CFF). Introduction

Survey Participants,
Throughout our experiences in system development, we have seen many successes and failures. Often, it is through the failures that we have our most profound learnings. Our goal in this survey is to identify what are the most Critical Failure Factors within the execution of development projects that have led to your greatest learnings. With your input, we will be able to build upon our experiences and learnings to develop a more robust understanding of the things that are most likely to cause others to struggle in their development projects. With this, we will be able to share this experiential information with others to prepare them for identifying these cause as they happen and to provide them with tools to help mitigate and recover from the causes should they occur. It is only through your participation that we can develop robust data to build upon. Please, help us make a difference to those that have yet to have our experiences. Help us prepare our future Technical Leaders to advance even faster as the world we live in continues to evolve ever faster.The survey has been designed under the context of the Technical Leadership Institute of INCOSE (Cohort #3). The aim of the survey, that has been delivered across the community of systems engineering practitioners, is to collect input about the criticality of a number of Failure Factors across the industry.
Experience has demonstrated that even skilled leaders, posing the proper leadership characteristics, might find difficulties due to external conditions (in the organizations, projects, teams...). The aim of the work behind this survey is to identify what factors can prevent a good leader to perform properly, so that the factors, once well identified, can be easily removed.

The different factors have been classified into 5 sections. This survey represents the short version of such factors, so that you only have to rank the groups of factors as a whole (for a more detailed survey, including an extensive number of factors within each group, please contact us at You can also contact us if you want to have a copy of the final conclusions of the survey (reach us at:

This concise version of the survey describes the 5 groups of Critical Failure Factors (CFF). Please rank each of them as follows:
- 0: these factors have never impacted in my projects
- 1: these factors have very little importance in my projects
. . .
- 5: these factors have enormous importance in my projects

An additional section has been added so that you can report your own factors, those that have impacted the outcome of your projects: the classical triple constraint (time, budget, schedule) or other aspects: safety, security, performance....

TLI Cohort 3