I would like to appreciate my parents and spouse who have contributed a lot with their finance and guidance to successfully complete this research work. Then, I would thank all of the participants who responded to me cordially and were friendly during the data collection. Then, will say thanks to the authors of journals, books and website from where I have collected the resources and information to complete this research work. I would also appreciate my supervisor for his guidelines and suggestions.
This study aims to critically analyze and evaluate the causes of IT project failure in the public sector to deliver the value promised to the clients. The objectives of this study are a) to evaluate the success factors of IT projects in UK public sector; b) to analyze the factors that affect the success factors of IT projects in the UK public sector; c) to explore the factors that cause the failure of IT projects to deliver the value promised to the clients in UK public sector, and d) to provide a recommendation to the IT projects in UK public sector.
This study follows several methods and methodologies. The interpretivism philosophy, exploratory research and abductive approach are used to meet the research objectives. The qualitative method is suitable for this research. Both primary and secondary data sources are used to collect required data and meet the research aims and objectives. A semi-structured interview is used as the data instrument technique. A non-probability and non-random sampling technique are used with a sample size of 5 management people from an IT project in central London. As this study collects and focuses only on qualitative data, the qualitative data analysis techniques are applied here. As the qualitative data analysis tools, this study use content and thematic analysis techniques. In this study, a pilot is completed by having an interview with a project manager to improve research reliability. This study follows all the possible ethical issues and considered valid and reliable research.
The study finds a number of factors that affect the success of IT projects. These factors are technology complexity and its application and implementation to address the client requirements. The study finds a number of critical success factors for IT projects in public sectors. These factors are information availability, proper and effective planning, effective control, and proper procurement. The study finds a number of factors that cause the failure of IT projects in the UK public sector. The key causes are designs, management strategic objectives, availability of information, customer changing requirements and specification, procurement route, and project planning. Therefore, the study recommends the project managers strictly follow the sequence stages of the project lifecycle. Before starting the project it is essential for the project manager to do a pre-study to ensure whether the project is acceptable. Then, four key phases are followed by the project managers in a sequence manner that phases are project initiation, project planning, project execution, and project closing.
Chapter 1: Introduction
The business environment is characterized by a number of factors, where complexity and acceleration are characterized significantly from production to communication methods (Kotler et al., 2014). IT is the most important driver of this acceleration and complexity. IT is the most dynamic sector that has thousands of applications for business services including both private and public organizations. The use of IT in both private and public organizations has been increasing. Most importantly IT is used in business (mainly in public organizations) to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of business and enhance business productivity via streamlining of processes. IT also supports the business to be extended and open the door of accessing the new markets and merging new partners. In a word, IT boosts the business activities fasters and improves the business performance, and helps to gain organizational goals and objectives. Therefore, the public sector organizations have been increasingly increasing and gaining limitless success.
However, researchers are continuously showing that many IT projects in the public sector in the UK face difficulties to achieve success or meet the goals and objectives. A research body named Standish Group conducted a study on 30,000 IT projects and found that more large projects (mainly in public sector organizations) fail than smaller projects (The Standish Group International, 2016). The key reason behind of the large projects failure can be complexity. Although the success rate has been increasing and the failure rate has been decreasing nowadays, still now researchers show that the failure rate of large IT projects in the public sector is high. However, the organizations and project managers are facing difficulties to find out the causes behind this failure. Therefore, this study aims to find out the cause of the failure of IT projects in public sectors and to find out the solutions for improving the success rate of the IT projects in public sectors.
This chapter provides the introduction of the research work. Thus, this chapter focuses on a number of issues. First, a brief background of large IT projects in the public sector and their success and failure are discussed. Following the background, the research problems and rationale of this study are described. Then, the research aims and objectives are defined along with the research questions. The research significance and research scope are explained in the next chapter. Finally, the research structure is formulated and concludes the chapter.
1.2 Research background
The term ‘project’ and ‘project management are very common in the activities of business organizations, mainly in the public sector. The project refers to a temporary endeavor or a set of initiatives to sort out particular problems or to meet specific organizational goals and objectives or develop a unique product or service through innovation. In the project term, temporary means that the project has a specific deadline and starting and closing date, and unique in product or service development means the products or services would quite different from the substitutes products or services or competitors products (PMI, 2016).
Project management refers to an application that includes different knowledge, skills and experiences, tools and techniques to accomplish the project activities and meet the project goals and objectives. In this case, a number of steps have to be followed by the project managers in a sequential manner. These steps are initiation and starting, planning, executing and developing, implementation, and monitoring and controlling, and ending and closing the project (PMI, 2016). Research by Mintzberg (1983) cited in Soderlund (2016) disclosed that many of the emerging businesses and most of the public sector organizations have been project-intensive since the second world war.
The increasing trend of project usages in organizations demanded a way to manage these temporary endeavors that are challenging for the organizational strategic objectives. These challenges faced by the organizations push the researchers and professionals to devise a way to effectively and efficiently manage the projects and their aims and objectives. According to Crawford, Pollack and England, (2014), the researchers before mainly focused on project implementations. However, many of the researchers are now focusing on the variety of project analysis………..
1.2 Research problems
Researchers and experts distinguish the IT projects in the public sector from other kinds of projects in different ways like diversity systems, tools and techniques needed to implement the project works, and the environment where the project is implemented, integration needed between different systems, meeting the stakeholder requirements. Walid and Salim (2015) said many of the IT projects in the public sector face uncertainty and challenges to provide complete and stable requirements.
However, there is very poor literature on the failure of IT project in the public sector, but there is lots of IT projects in public sectors with a huge amount of budget across the world (Stacie and William, 2014). The most significant challenge faced by the public sector IT project is the integration between different systems, tools and techniques used in the project development and implementations. Integration is considered as one of the challenging issues for IT projects in the public sector (Grossman, 2013).
Therefore, all of the systems in public sector IT projects must be integrated on time. In addition, the complications may come from the systems that include inconsistent and irrelevant data, and require processing to gain integration success. Humphrey (2015) said the other challenge may come from stakeholder management. This is because a large IT project includes a number of stakeholders who have different requirements. For example, an IT project in NHS (that is the UK’s biggest public sector organization) needs to deal with several stakeholders including patients, doctors, nurses, clerks, visitors, community, and healthcare management people. All of these stakeholders have different needs, expectations and requirements.
If the proposed IT projects fail to meet the requirements of these stakeholders, the projects will fail to meet their aims and objectives with success. Researches show that all of these challenges and difficulties defined here have a significant effect on the project success; failure of any one of these causes the failure of the project goals (Glaser, 2016). This study aims to identify all the possible causes of IT project failure in the public sector and approximate the failure rate of IT projects in the public sector. In addition, the study focuses on the critical success factors of IT projects in the public sector.
1.3 Research rationale
Research by Grossman (2013) discloses that the major internal cause of IT project failure in the public sector is project team dynamics and project management processes, and the external cause of IT project failure in the public sector is project clients/customers and other external entities. However, Roger (2015) did not agree with this statement saying that many factors can lead to an IT project failure in public sectors.
Young (2013) stated that the key causes are unclear and incomplete scopes, risk management problems, communication problems, problems in stakeholder engagement and management. Humphrey (2015) said these issues lead to many changes in the project development process, poor morals for team members, dissatisfaction with customers, problems in deliverable quality, increased costs, and extended time schedule. Grossman (2013) said the causes of IT project failure are related to project planning phases, and the very common cause of failure is unclear scope………