hat were the recurring problems with the RPA’s Single Payment Scheme project between 2006 and 2014?

Managing and Using Information Systems:

A Strategic Approach – Sixth Edition

Keri Pearlson, Carol Saunders, and Dennis Galletta

© Copyright 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Chapter 11 Project Management

Rural Payments Agency Case

• What were the recurring problems with the RPA’s Single Payment Scheme project between 2006 and 2014?

• What system was rolled out in 2015 to solve the problems? How did it solve the problems?

• What problems occurred in 2015? What was the solution?

• What were the causes of the problems?

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 3

Failed IS Projects

• Standish Group found that: • 67% of all software projects are “challenged!”

• Late, or • Over budget, or • Don’t perform

• Even one failure could endanger a firm!

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 4

Definition of “Project”

• “[A] project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service.”

• Temporary—every project has a definite beginning and a definite end.

• Unique—the product or service is different in some distinguishing way from all similar products or services.”

• -Project Management Institute (1996)

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 5

Project vs Operations

Characteristics Operations Projects

Purpose Sustain the firm Reach a goal

When to change When operations no longer serve the goals

When a goal is reached

Quality control Formal Informal

Tasks Repetitive Unique

Duration Ongoing Temporary

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 6

Project Stakeholders

• Anyone (or any firm) • Involved • With affected interests

• Obvious players: • Project manager, project team • Project sponsor (general manager funding it) • Customers (huge variety) • Employees

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 7

Programs vs Projects

• A program is a set of related projects that accomplish a strategic objective

• Examples: TQM; workplace safety

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Project Management

• “Application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities in order to meet project requirements.”

• Trade-offs must be made

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Pick any two!

Time Cost


Project Triangle

10© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc.

Picking any two

• Fast and cheap: It won’t be good! • Slapped together or using interns

• Fast and good: It won’t be cheap! • Purchase solution/hire “rock star” skilled team

• Cheap and good: It won’t be fast! • This option is possible if you would wait for open

source solution or use

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 11

Project Management Software

• Top five PM systems • Microsoft Project • Atlassian Jira • Podio • Smartsheet • Basecamp

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 12

Project Management Office

• Project support

• Project management process and methods

• Training

• Project management home base

• Internal consulting and mentoring

• Project management software tools and support

• Portfolio management (managing multiple projects)

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 13

Essential Elements

• Project management

• Project team

• Project cycle plan

• Common project vocabulary

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 14

Element 1: Project Management

• Identifying requirements

• Defining the team’s structure

• Assigning team members

• Managing risks / leveraging opportunities

• Measuring the project’s status

• Making the project visible to others

• Comparing project status against plan

• Taking corrective action when necessary

• Providing project leadership

Require planning

Require taking action

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 15

Project Leadership

• Strong project leaders focus, align, and motivate members by managing • Team composition • Reward systems

• Strong processes trade off against strong leadership (next slide)

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 16

Project Leadership

Project Management Process

More leadership


Less leadership


No PM process

Team is new to PM process

Team does not value process

PM process exists

Team is fully trained in process

Team values process

Project leadership vs. project management process

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 17

Element 2: Project Team

• Helpful: collect a set of people with the needed • Skills • Knowledge • Experiences • Capabilities

• They must also represent their departments

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 18

Element 3: Project Cycle Plan

• Organizes the steps and defines dates

• Breaks work into phases

• End is “go live” date

• “Control gates:” ready to move to next phase?

• Tools include PERT/GANTT

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 19


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Template – Other Views

Unfreezing Change Refreezing

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 22

Element 4: Common Project Vocabulary

• Make sure everyone knows what the following mean: • “End of year” • “Divestment” vs “sale” • “Acquisition” vs “purchase” • “Customer” vs “user”

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 23


• IT projects are difficult to estimate and most fail to meet their schedules and budgets • Highly interactive, complex sets of tasks • Closely interrelated with each other (coupled)

• Most projects cannot be made more efficient simply by adding labor • Some are actually slowed down (Brooks’ Law)

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 24

Systems Development Life Cycle

SDLC typically consists of typical phases such as: 1. Initiation of the project 2. The requirements definition phase 3. The functional design phase 4. The system is actually built 5. Verification phase 6. The “cut over:” The new system is put in operation

7. The maintenance and review phase

Different models have different numbers of phases

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 25

Limitations of SDLC

• Traditional SDLC methodology for current IT projects are not always appropriate: • Sometimes costs are difficult to estimate • Sometimes uniqueness makes previous experience hard

or impossible to find • Objectives may reflect a scope that is

• Too broad (can’t solve it), or • Too narrow (not ambitious enough)

• Might take too long when the business environment is very dynamic

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 26

Alternative Approaches – for speed

• Iterative approaches enable evolutionary development

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 27

Other Approaches • Prototyping

• Build a high-level version of the system very quickly and get feedback

• Advantages: • User involvement early and throughout the development process

• Disadvantages: • Documentation may be difficult to write • Users may not have a realistic scope of the system while making decisions

• RAD (Rapid Application Development) prototyping + 4-step SDLC • Like prototyping, RAD uses iterative development tools

to speed up development: • GUI, reusable code, code generation, databases, testing,

debugging • Goal is much faster building of the system

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 28

Other Approaches (continued)

• JAD (Joint Application Development) – IBM • Users are involved throughout the process

• “Agile” approaches speed things up • XP (Extreme Programming), Scrum, etc.

29© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc.

Other Approaches (continued)

User-centered design

• Focuses on usability but uses many of the tools of RAD, JAD, Agile, prototyping

• Users participate and continuously evaluate usability

• Usability.gov provides 209 guidelines

• Technology is advancing so they are dated (e.g., touchscreen tablets are not included)

• “How or why” for touch PC O/S not yet settled

• Requires multidisciplinary approach: psychology, graphic art, Internet technologies, business needs, etc.

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 30

Other Approaches (continued)

Open source approach • Uses crowdsourcing

• Code is available for all to see and improve

• Linux: the basis for • Android • Some Garmin GPS • Some Sony TVs

• OS/X is based on BSD

• BSD and Linux come from Unix

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 31

Comparison of approaches Methodology Advantages Disadvantages SDLC • Structured approach

• Phase milestones and approvals

• Uses system approach

• Focuses on goals and trade-offs

• Emphasizes documentation

• Requires user sign-offs

• Systems often fail to meet objectives

• Needed skills are often difficult to obtain

• Scope may be defined too broadly or too narrowly

• Very time consuming

Agile Development

• Good for adapting to changing requirements

• Works well when user requirements change continuously

• Allows face-to-face communication and continuous inputs from users

• Speeds up development process

• Users like it

• Hard to estimate system deliverables at start of project

• Under-emphasizes designing and documentation

• Easy to get project off-track if user goals are unclear

Prototyping • Improved user communications • Users like it

• Speeds up development process

• Good for eliciting system requirements

• Provides a tangible model to serve as basis for production version

• Often under-documented

• Not designed to be an operational version

• Often creates unrealistic expectations

• Difficult-to-manage development process

• Integration often difficult

• Design flaws more prevalent than in SDLC

• Often hard to maintain

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 32

What Makes a Project Risky?

• Risk Framework • Complexity

• Many parts? Impacts on rest of system? Global? Unfamiliar hardware/software/databases? Changing requirements?

• Clarity • Hard to define the purpose, input, and output?

• Size • Cost, staff, duration, team, departments affected, lines of


• They are geometric, not linear (additive): • Having all three of these would be much more than

three times as bad as one of these.

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 33

Managing Risk from Complexity

• Strategies to deal with complexity: • Leverage the Technical Skills of the Team such as having

a leader or team members who have had significant experience

• Rely on Consultants and Vendors – for additional expertise

• Integrate Within the Organization such as • Having frequent team meetings

• Extensive documentation • Regular technical status reviews

34© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc.

Managing Risk from Clarity

• Strategies to deal with low clarity • Rely more heavily upon the users to define system

requirements • Manage stakeholders by balancing the disparate

goals • Sustain Project Commitment

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 35

Project Commitment – Important for project success

Determinant Description Examples More likely for commitment if:

Project Objective attributes of the project

Cost, benefits, expected difficulty, and duration

There is a large potential payoff.

Psychological Factors managers use to convince themselves things are not so bad

Previous experience, personal responsibility for outcome, and biases.

There is a previous history of success.

Social Elements of the various groups involved in the process

Rivalry, norms for consistency, and need for external validation

External stakeholders have been publicly led to believe the project will be successful.

Organizational Structural attributes of the organization

Political support, and alignment with values and goals

There is strong political support from executive levels.

Cultural Cultural attributes Appreciation for teamwork or a focus on technical issues

There is a culture of teamwork.

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 36

Pulling the Plug

• Often projects in trouble persist long after they should have been abandoned—Pull the plug! • Many projects are 99% complete for 50% of the project!

• People can go to great lengths to sustain a doomed project when there are • Sunk costs • High penalties for failure • Emotional attachment to the project by powerful


© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 37

Four dimensions of success

• Shenhar, Dvir and Levy’s (1998) four dimensions of success: • Resource constraints: does the project meet the

time and budget criteria? • Impact on customers: how much benefit does the

customer receive from the project? • Business success: how high and long are the profits

produced by the project? • Prepare for the future: has the project enabled

future success? Future impact?

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 38

Figure 11.11 Success dimensions for various project types.

© 2016 John Wi ley & Sons, Inc. 39

Managing and Using Information Systems:

A Strategic Approach – Sixth Edition

Keri Pearlson, Carol Saunders, and Dennis Galletta

© Copyright 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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