Managing IT Projects for Success: Reengineering or Better Project Management?


IT projects can fail for any number of reasons and in some cases can result in considerable financial losses for the organizations that undertake them. The strategic importance that IT now plays coupled with the burgeoning costs of developing information systems has raised the stakes associated with project failure. While it is dimcult to obtain statistics on the actual frequency of information systems failures, various sources suggest that at least half of all IS projects arc not as successful as one would like them to be Rothfeder 1988). The relatively high prevalence of failures in this field suggests the need to reexamine the way in which projects are managed. Traditional wisdom holds that many IT failures result from poor project planning and control Explanations that have been offered include inadequate cost estimation models (look beyond the traditional explanations in explaining the problem and in forinulating altenlative solutions (Able]-1·imnid This panel will explore a wide range of opinions concerning the underlying causes of what is often labeled "poor project management." l'he objective will be to raise these issues in a public forum and to discuss the type of research agenda that is needed to produce new knowledge that would be beneficial to both researchers and practitioners. Members of the p:uiel will address the following questions: • Is the failure problem a serious one? What role does project management really play (is it a symptom or a cause of failure)? · Are IT projects more difficult to manage an other types of projects? If so, why? · Are better project mal,agement tools the answer or do we need to radically reengineer the developinent process itself? · Is the current research on software project inanagement useful to practitioners? If not, what kind of research is needed in this area? Panel Di<cussion Format The panel chair will begin the session with a short introductio,1 layi " g out the key issues relating to IT failure ancl tic traditional case that has been made for better project manage,nent. l'his introduction will set the stage and serve as motivation for the panel discussion. Each panelist will then be given ten minutes to present a position. After each panelist

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@inproceedings{Keil1994ManagingIP, title={Managing IT Projects for Success: Reengineering or Better Project Management?}, author={Mark Keil and Gopal K. Kapur and M. Lynne Markus and James A. Willbern}, booktitle={ICIS}, year={1994} }