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    Developing the capability to terminate IT projects when they can no longer deliver business value: A discussion of key insights from practitioners


    Thornley, Clare and Crowley, Catherine (2018) Developing the capability to terminate IT projects when they can no longer deliver business value: A discussion of key insights from practitioners. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 11 (2). pp. 406-431. ISSN 1753-8378

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    Abstract

    Purpose: This paper addresses the problem of ensuring that the capabilities are in place to identify when a project can no longer deliver value and to take appropriate action to terminate the project. Design/methodology/approach: Focus groups with project management practitioners were used to collect in depth qualitative data. This was then supplemented with a questionnaire, which included both closed questions and the opportunity for free text answers. Findings: The problem of getting better at stopping projects is both common and difficult to solve. It has many facets, which include complex people and cultural issues, processes and procedures as well as financial reporting and project governance. In order to improve, therefore, it is useful to address these different facets in a coordinated way using a capability approach with a focus on business value. Research limitations/implications: The data from practitioners is retrospective, as their actions were not actually observed by the researchers as they were happening. This means that faulty recollection may influence the results but, it also allows for insights from reflection to be incorporated. Practical implications: An organizational capability approach focussing on all three aspects of capability; people, processes and technology can help organizations get better at stopping projects. Specific recommendations are provided and analysed in terms of their respective capability focus. Social implications: If performance in terminating projects is improved, it has the potential for significant benefits and cost saving for society in terms of improved government services and the ability to halt projects around new policy initiatives when emerging evidence shows that they will not work. Originality/value: It provides detailed practitioner input on the problem of stopping projects and suggests recommendations for improvement in the context of a structured organizational capability approach with reference to a particular framework, IT-CMF.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Project escalation; Business value management; Capability; Project termination; IT management; IT-CMF; maturity models; IVI;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Innovation Value Institute, IVI
    Item ID: 9527
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-06-2017-0060
    Depositing User: IVI Editor
    Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2018 10:29
    Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business
    Publisher: Emerald
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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