Challenges of Complex Information Technology Projects: The MAC Initiative
Teta Stamati (University of Athens, Greece), Panagiotis Kanellis (University of Athens, Greece) and Drakoulis Martakos (University of Athens, Greece)
Copyright: © 2006
Although painstaking planning usually precedes all large IT development efforts, 80% of new systems are delivered late (if ever) and over budget, frequently with functionality falling short of contract. This case study provides a detailed account of an ill-fated initiative to centrally plan and procure, with the aim to homogenize requirements, an integrated applications suite for a number of British higher education institutions. It is argued that because systems are so deeply embedded in operations and organization and, as you cannot possibly foresee and therefore plan for environmental discontinuities, high-risk, ‘big-bang’ approaches to information systems planning and development must be avoided. In this context the case illustrates the level of complexity that unpredictable change can bring to an information technology project that aims to establish the ‘organizationally generic’ and the destabilizing effects it has on the network of the project’s stakeholders.