Everyone likes to look good and most work in any company by any decision maker is to ensure to look good. Usually lower end decision maker make no decision and as such avoid looking bad, but for those that want to get to the top have to excel in all areas so they need a strategy of deniability. They all know that they will need to try new things and sometime fail, but at the same time never be seeing failing. There are actually many example of this in the public, as both D.Trump and B. Gates have often described in their books the importance of trying and failing, but then when asked about an example of failure there will tell you a success or something that someone else did wrong. The only concession is usually that they hired the person that was responsible for the failure. Usually as architects we see this happening a week before going live all the really important people have important other work and it is often the deputy of the deputy making go decisions. After being live for some time the senior owner appears if it is an success to show that it was all down to his genius and leadership, if the project goes south a scapegoat will need to be found.
The time that this could be blamed a lowly ranker however is over as this just shows that there was no supervision in place, which again is negative for the top brass. So instead of a low ranker the typical target are the senior managers on the project, usually a good reason for the architect to be absent as closer the project goes for going life. However there are some architects that use their status as scapegoat to build their careers. I have seen this with a number of architects that want to grow towards a CIO job and this the main career progression to a CIO goes via people and infrastructure management and not design or strategy scapegoating is often the only way for an architect to get the credentials for the CIO job. In business there is a strange rule that people who were responsible for a failure are good in avoiding a next blunder and will inspire success in others. As strange as this sounds it actually works. So if you have been tagged with a big failure, do not protest, take a week off (important as this is seen necessary to reflect) and apply for a new project. You will find that a lot of people (especially junior ranks) will find it strange that you apply, but all are interested to interview you as they all admire a person that can overcome such a large personal disappointment. Usually it is not hard to get a top project management after this, usually on a project that everyone expect to fail. As long as you deliver one of these domed projects you are suddenly tagged as the successful turnaround manager for the extremely hard jobs and as such you are first in line when a top job like that of a CIO is opening.
AS such scapegoating can be a career step as long as the methodology is kept quite.