Delivering successful IS/IT projects : eight key elements from success criteria to review via appropriate management, methodologies and teams
In spite of decades of research, Information Systems/Information Technology (IS/IT) projects still often fail to deliver the objectives expected of them. Managers require information systems to achieve their business objectives and the failure of these projects inevitably hinders the progress and success of their organisations. This research examines the key criteria by which IS/IT projects are judged to be successful and what factors are important in influencing the success of IS/IT projects. The research shows that very often different participants in a project are aiming at different targets and they each have their own perception of project success. There must be greater convergence on the criteria for success. To achieve this, the criteria for success and associated factors that influence success need to be defined clearly, agreed by all parties at the start of the project and reviewed as the project progresses. Agreeing the criteria is not sufficient to guarantee success. The project has to be carried out within a defined framework. The project life cycle is used to link the two disciplines of project management and systems development, and to highlight the fundamental issues that must be carried out on all projects. However, project managers need to focus more on the products of the system and not on the plans and schedules. Therefore, there should be the emphasis on configuration management as a means of linking the two disciplines. Furthermore, automated tools need to provide additional functionality to be of any practical use to project managers and system developers. Project managers are crucial to the development process and they need a portfolio of skills to deliver successful projects in the future. The research outlines the development path for project managers to acquire these skills. They should not rely solely on experience but formal career development has to be part of the overall strategy of the organisation.