Situational Incompetence: The Failure of Governance in the Management of Large Scale IT Projects

Carlton, D and Peszynski, K 2018, 'Situational Incompetence: The Failure of Governance in the Management of Large Scale IT Projects', in IFIP WG 8.6 International Conference on Transfer and Diffusion of IT, TDIT 2018 Portsmouth, UK, June 25, 2018 Proceedings, Portsmouth, United Kingdom, 25 June 2018, pp. 224-244.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Situational Incompetence: The Failure of Governance in the Management of Large Scale IT Projects
Author(s) Carlton, D
Peszynski, K
Year 2018
Conference name Smart Working, Living and Organising - IFIP WG 8.6 International Conference on Transfer and Diffusion of IT
Conference location Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Conference dates 25 June 2018
Proceedings title IFIP WG 8.6 International Conference on Transfer and Diffusion of IT, TDIT 2018 Portsmouth, UK, June 25, 2018 Proceedings
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Switzerland
Start page 224
End page 244
Total pages 21
Abstract Information technology (IT) projects in the government (public) sector experience significant challenges. Despite decades of research, the adoption of formal methods, the use of external suppliers and packaged soft- ware, these remediation attempts have not appeared to have reduced nor mitigated the problems faced when the public sector undertakes large IT projects. Previous studies have examined the causes of IT project failure, in particular these have focused on factor analysis. A relatively limited number of studies have investigated the contribution of IT competence, and even fewer have considered the role and contribution of non-IT executives in IT project out- comes. This study sought a deeper understanding of what drives the behaviour of large scale IT projects. Of particular note was the finding by Kruger and Dunning (2009) that 'the skills required to do the job are the same skills needed to identify competence in others'. It was this finding which was found to most influence the observed behaviours of executive leadership leading to IT project failure. This research reports on a qualitative study that investigated 181 interviews and 5,000 pages of project data drawn from a large-scale public sector IT project which resulted in a cost overrun that exceeded AUD$1 Billion. The interview transcripts and project data were analysed using an inductive case study methodology and the research process was influenced by aspects of Grounded Theory. A new Theory of Situational Incompetence has been developed as a result of the analysis. The research culminates in a proposed measurement instrument intended to gauge leadership competence in the context of increasing project size and complexity.
Subjects Information Systems Theory
Keyword(s) IT project failure
Public sector waste
Failed projects
Governance
Project management
Critical success factors
Situational incompetence
DOI - identifier 10.1007/978-3-030-04315-5_16
Copyright notice ©
ISBN 9783030043148
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