Towards an Understanding of Why and How ICT Projects Are Initiated: Analysis via Repertory Grid

by   Htike Htike Wut Yi, et al.

Contemporary business innovation relies increasingly on information and communications technology (ICT) solutions. As ICT initiatives are generally implemented via projects the management of ICT projects has come under increasing scrutiny. ICT projects continue to fail; as a result, while research in ICT project management has indeed increased, many challenges for research and practice remain. Many studies have addressed the execution and management of ICT projects and the many factors that might relate to project outcomes. Very few, however, have considered ICT project initiation and the crucial decisions made at that very early, pre-life cycle stage. The primary intent of this research is therefore to investigate ICT projects with a particular focus on their initiation. In doing so we wished to understand why ICT projects are started, and how they are moved from idea or proposal to supported reality. A combination of semi-structured interviews and the repertory grid data collection and analysis method was employed to investigate and validate the motivating factors that influence individual IT Managers' project initiation decisions and the methods they use to transition from idea to enacted project. Our results showed that there are indeed multiple underlying reasons for the decisions made at this early stage and that there are some especially common decision drivers. Some were expected, in the sense that they mapped to recommended best practice. For instance, most projects are motivated by a desire to achieve efficiencies or cost savings, and their potential tends to be assessed using cost benefit analysis. Other results were more surprising - competitor pressure was not a common driver for ICT project initiation in our analysis. Unsurprisingly, formal evaluation methods are more frequently used to assess project proposals when those projects are larger and higher profile. (Abridged)


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