IS projects and implementation
Authors: Kolltveit, Bjørn Johs.; Hennestad, Bjørn; Grønhaug, Kjell
Source: Baltic Journal of Management, Volume 2, Number 3, 2007 , pp. 235-250(16)
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to participate in the discussion related to why IS projects, both in Western and in Eastern European countries, e.g. Poland, often fail. One major reason is claimed to be poor implementation, and the article asks whether the stakeholders involved overlook the challenge of and the need for knowledge in change management (CM) when implementing complex IT systems. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The research is based on observations of what is reflected in the CM, the project management (PM) and the IS literature. A basic assumption for the approach is that what PM and IS textbooks focus on strongly influences the views and practice of practitioners. A content analysis method was applied to examine empirically 22 textbooks to evaluate whether the IT/PM literature emphasizes relevant essential recommendations developed in the CM literature for handling changes. A mini-case was used to illustrate how implementation is done in practice. Findings ‐ The research reveals that in particular the PM authors give little priority to implementation and to essentials developed in the CM discipline. Further, the authors apply rather rational perspectives when discussing implementation. This implies focus on deterministic N-stage models and overlooking vital organizational processes. The research also reveals that IS success depends to a large extent on how well the interfaces between the project development and the implementation processes are coordinated. The stakeholders often split the project development and implementation into two projects and postpone implementation until the development is completed. This may lead to coordination problems and to ineffective implementation. Research limitations/implications ‐ The main limitation of this research is the assumption that what is written in the IT/PM books influences what the practitioners do. This may be an area for further research. Practical implications ‐ The authors of IS/PM textbooks and the practitioners should pay more attention to implementation. The textbooks may benefit from borrowing essentials from the CM literature. Further, the stakeholders should start the implementation processes early and ensure effective coordination between project development and the implementation processes. Originality/value ‐ The main value of the paper is related to the contribution to the discussion related to why IS projects, both in Western and in Eastern European countries, often fail.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 18, 2007