Check out this exchange of posts between Frank Buytendijk (Oracle/Hyperion) and Tom Hudock (Online Business Systems) about the role of business in IT initiatives (they are particularly concerned with business intelligence but the sentiment holds true for all technology projects).
Frank and Tom are dismayed that business leaders have taken a hands-off role in key technology projects allowing their IT colleagues to write business cases, develop project time lines and budgets, and define deliverables. Obviously, our IT colleagues bring considerable talent and resources to every project. Yet it is the business stakeholders that will USE the system when it is complete and it is the business that is relying on the system to make better decisions and improve company performance. Therefore the business must take the lead in determining project objectives and success criteria, defining requirements, and remain active and engaged throughout the project life cycle. Otherwise how will the end result fulfill the business' needs?
As I've emphasized many times in this blog and in my articles, systems projects are doomed to fail when business stakeholders fail to take an active role. Learn more about how you can prevent YOUR key projects from going off-track: