Influence of stakeholder motivation on the outcome of IT projects.
Recent research estimates that 70 to 90 per cent of IT projects fail to achieve the anticipated outcome. An analysis of relevant studies in Chapter 1 reveals numerous symptoms (project risks) that may explain why IT projects fail to such a large extent, and gives recommendations (risk strategies) on how to improve this situation. However, these recommendations tend to deal rather with symptoms than the underlying cause, and thus the failure rate remains disappointingly high. The analysis of project outcomes in this study suggests that this may be due to the lack of a human-centred philosophy in project management. Consequently, it can be argued that the immense effort in time and resources that has been invested to overcome the identified IT projects symptoms may potentially be wasted. In view of this situation, this thesis intends to go beyond an analysis of symptoms and aspires to make a case for a better understanding of the underlying cause of IT project failure today. The apparent dead-end situation of IT projects today appears to be sufficient rationale to explore the motivation of IT project stakeholders, which, as seen from a human-centred perspective, most likely play a key role in the project outcome. In order to examine this complex social phenomenon, a multiple embedded case study strategy had to be implemented. For this reason, this study is supported by relevant academic literature providing a ‘motivational lens’ through which the qualitative data can be viewed. The ethnographic element, both for data collection and analysis, furthermore allows a bottom-up approach to research, which endeavours to refrain from pre-assumed situations or an up-front definition of the involved stakeholders. For this purpose, this study has created the IT Project Process Generic Stakeholder Model. By looking through the lens of motivation this study intends to work towards an underlying cause explanation as to why IT projects fail to deliver the projected outcome. It appears that a better understanding of this situation may contribute significantly to the improvement of IT project outcomes in the future. In order to elucidate this problem-solving approach, this study provides the IT Project Process Model.
- PhD