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Why did your Competitive Intelligence project fail?

When we interact with organizations, we often find companies that years ago made a foray into the world of Competitive Intelligence, but the results were not satisfactory. In this article we analyze the most common reasons for such projects do not succeed:

Why did your Competitive Intelligence project fail?

Wrong sizing

Sometimes we find organizations who sin of ambition when releasing their CI project; they intended to encompass all departments of the company, covering all Key intelligence topics (KIT), involving a large number of people, putting too high information amount requirements, etc. Unless the CI is a strategic activity for the company, with a strong involvement of management and high availability of resources, it is better to start with small incursions that allow greater control, seeking success and example for the rest. So, gradually, Competitive Intelligence can go by different departments, expanding more gradually.

Lack of leadership

As important as properly defining the CI project scope and phases is choosing the right person to lead it. If the responsible for launching the CI in the organization does not hold sufficient command may not be able to drive the agents that compose the CI system; on the other hand, if that person has too many responsibilities, it may happen that other tasks require all his dedication, being the CI relegated to second place.

Everything based on the software

Many people believe that once you have chosen and set up CI software, the remainder is done by itself. Nothing could be further from the truth. Competitive Intelligence software is a means to achieve the objectives, a tool to facilitate the work, but it´s not the end. As important or more than the software are the people and processes that define the CI activity. People often forget that the goal of the project is not to implement software, but starting the CI activity, with all that that entails.

Look for the short term

Competitive Intelligence is not a sporadical search for information; neither something whose results are immediate. For getting benefits of CI, the activity must be continuous in time, must become one more task to any employee. Time is what gives analysts the ability to interpret and combine information, decision makers the opportunity to look back and identify trends or patterns. Therefore you must be patient, do not despair if the results are not immediate.

No devoting the necessary resources

Many companies say they want to do intelligence, but that is not reflected in the dedicated resources. And when we say resources we do not mean to investment in software or consulting. The biggest investment an organization has to make when launching CI activity is human resources, dedicated staff. Usually people are reluctant to assume that certain individuals will fail to perform productive tasks to devote to something like the CI, whose ROI is not easily measurable and the results are difficult to quantify. Therefore, if you really believe in Competitive Intelligence and want to succeed, you must devote resources, must free employee time to engage in CI.


If you want us to explain you why did your CI project fail and want us to help you achieve success, you can contact us. Therefore, you can try professional software like INNGUMA for free requesting a demo.