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Title: Making IT work : a study of an NHS Trust's efforts to implement a successful technochange project
Author: Day, Kathryn
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 9002
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2014
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There is a significant amount of existing research on the topic of project management that dates back to Gaddis’ 1959 seminal paper “The Project Manager”. Most organisations recognise the role that projects play in bringing beneficial change to the business (Cooke-Davies, 2002; Kwak and Anbari, 2008; Maylor et al, 2006; Smyth and Morris, 2007; Kloppenborg and Opfer, 2002) and they increasingly use project management processes to seek to improve business results (Mathur et al, 2007). However, the “projectification” of business has not proved to be the panacea that individuals and organisations hoped (Maylor et al, 2006). Despite the volume of research conducted, limited insight has been made in explaining why project management success rates remain so low (Lyytinen and Robey, 1999; Cooke-Davies, 2002; McManus and Wood-Harper, 2008; Thomas and Fernandez, 2008). Without a single theoretical base for explaining and guiding successful project management, various different theoretical approaches, have been patched together (Winter et al, 2006b), leading to a knowledge base which is “unstable and fragmented” (Cicmil and Hodgson, 2006b, p. 115). Smyth and Morris urge academics and practitioners to work together to find “an eclectic mix” of concepts and theoretical underpinnings to be used to improve project outcomes (2007, p. 423). This research sought to understand the success criteria and critical success factors necessary for successful IS project management in the NHS. Through an ethnographic approach this research, uses academic and professional literature and practical experience, and sought to contribute to the ‘eclectic mix’ of knowledge and contribute to a deeper understanding of what is actually happening inside projects (Blomquist et al, 2010; Cicmil, et al, 2006, Winter et al, 2006b). This research found that those criteria in the iron triangle of success (Atkinson, 1999), particularly adherence to budget and schedule, are still prioritised at the expense of other criteria. It found that the organisation understood the importance of the various critical success factors on the project’s outcome but did not apply them in reality. Finally the research found extensive evidence of magic bullet thinking, a belief that the delivery of the new IT/IS alone would result in business change and benefits realisation across the entire organisation.
Supervisor: Yeow, Pamela Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HA33 Management Science ; HD28 Management. Industrial Management ; HJ Public Finance