Why do seemengly successful IT projects fail to deliver value? Multiple case study in a large international corportion

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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MSc Degree Programme in Strategy
MSc Degree Programme in Strategy
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Cynically said, sometimes IT projects are steered through and completed after which the project team together with stakeholders will be toasting sparkling wine. Undeservingly they may be patting each other's backs in celebration, while in actuality the value delivered has been quite limited. IT project failure typically leads to managerial interrogation rather that celebration but sometimes projects can be successful in traditional performance metrics even though the delivered value would be ambiguous. The researcher calls this a seemingly successful project. The objective of this research is to understand which factors can affect an IT project to becoming a seemingly successful one without delivering the value the project was set to deliver. The aim is to learn from two such outcomes and to help managers in avoiding their projects being condemned to such faith. This study is an interpretive in-depth case study of two IT projects from which nine involved participants were interviewed. The other studied project was the development of sales planning capability functionality in a CRM tool. The other one being a customer facing platform, for an improved onboarding experience. These projects' took place between 2012 and 2014 in a large and international technology company. The research utilized content analysis together with participant observations, the researcher being a member of both projects, as methods for analyzing empirical data. Several themes were identified in the interviews which reflected well with previous literature on project failure factors. The research results show that a clear understanding of the value delivery mechanism is important for project success measurability while ambiguous goals and KPIs hamper project success assessment. Also in accordance with previous literature, lack of management support and changes in project ownership and scope are important factors affecting project outcome. Lastly, the research argues for the usability of the business model concept in analyzing IT projects value delivery logic.
information technology management, project management, value delivery, business model, performance evaluation, project success factors, project failure factors
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