Design of an Integrated Project Management Information System for Large Scale Public Projects: Iranian Case Study

Design of an Integrated Project Management Information System for Large Scale Public Projects: Iranian Case Study

Mona Taghavi (University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia), Ahmed Patel (University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia and Kingston University, UK) and Hamed Taghavi (Iranian Strategic Information Solutions Company (ISISCO), Iran)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/jitr.2011070102
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Due to the unprecedented growth of outsourcing ICT projects by the Iranian government, a critical need exists for the proper execution and monitoring of these projects. In this paper, the authors propose a web-based project management system to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the management processes and accelerate decision making. Based on the requirements and information flow between various units involved in the complete life-cycle of ICT project management, a functional model and system architecture with various underlying structures has been designed. The functional model contains two sub-systems: process management and information service. The proposed system structure is based on a four-layer client-server computing model. As a part of a publically available ICT system, it must be secure against cybercrime activities. This system can bring efficiency in managing the projects, improve decision making, and increase the overall management process with total accounting and management transparency. The proposed system overcomes the problems associated with a central system and traditional management processes, as is currently the case in Iran.
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In recent decades, it has become increasingly obvious that ICT projects tend to be more large-scale and complex (He, Jiang, Li, & Le, 2010), thus creating new challenges, especially for developing countries. Furthermore, the existing commercially available project management software tools have many limitations and drawbacks which are particularly unsuitable for handling large and complex projects (White & Fortune, 2002; He et al., 2010). Hence, these commercial software tools are proven to be unsatisfactory in terms of the functional coverage scope, flow process adaptation and collaboration arrangements to meet the complicated management demands of large-scale ICT outsourced projects (Tseng, 2006; Buddhakulsomsiri, 2006). This is particularly true in the case of Iran, since at present, there are no matured techniques both domestically and abroad to be borrowed for practice in respect of the business and capital flows descriptions, public and private collaboration towards multi-purpose decision-making based on multi-source data flows for effective and efficient management of large-scale ICT projects (Simon, 2006; Crawford, Pollack, & England, 2006).

Two studies (Zhang, Li, & Tam, 2006; Olsson, 2006) indicate that any project participant can only hold less than 65 percent of the project information at the closure phase because of the multiple player and asymmetrical timelines. These problems pose serious constraints to the development of large-scale information-based management of ICT projects. Crawford et al. (2006) have found variation in project management knowledge and practices between industries, countries and application areas as well as the amount of attention with focus on construction industry. Due to this variation in understanding and application of project management, it is useful to investigate its application in developing countries which are trying to close the digital divide by performing more large and complex ICT projects through government and private sector partnerships.

Iran is a classic example of this partnership. It is at the threshold of closing the digital divide by making ICT official government policy to achieve a knowledge-based economy and society in a relatively short time. The Web-based project management of ICT projects outsourced by the government to external contractors one such example. It is also geared to overcome inefficiencies in managing large-scale projects.

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