Global IT Project Management Using Web 2.0

Global IT Project Management Using Web 2.0

Behnaz Gholami (Multimedia University, Malaysia) and San Murugesan (University of Western Sydney, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/jitpm.2011070103
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For many businesses, managing globally distributed IT projects effectively is key to success in today’s competitive environment. However, IT projects and their managements are notorious for failures, and managing globally distributed teams poses unique additional challenges. While the Internet, email and the Web have been major means of communication among such teams, new Web 2.0 technologies and applications which have emerged into prominence in the last few years present new opportunities for successfully managing global projects. This paper presents the authors’ findings on awareness and level of use of Web 2.0 tools for project management among global teams. It also offers recommendations on how managers of global IT projects can manage their teams more efficiently and effectively using Web 2.0 tools.
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Information technology project management (PM) encompasses activities such as planning, monitoring and controlling and managing IT projects (IT project management, 2008). Over the years, several new concepts, methodologies, and software tools for IT project management have been developed and promoted (Venugopal, 2005). However, increased demands placed on IT applications, increased complexities of development and integration of IT systems with business applications, and complex hardware, software and communications infrastructure make IT project management, particularly global IT Project management, a major challenge. Hence, there is need for, and a lot of interest in, improving IT project management (Asprey, 2005).

Studies and histories reveal that most IT projects fail to meet their objectives (Venugopal, 2005). Several reasons have been attributed to the failure of IT projects, including: poor or lack of communication among team members, lack of coordination, cooperation and collaboration, the high cost of development, lack of adequate time for development, lack of necessary IT knowledge/skills among development teams, difficulty in obtaining access to right advice with respect to IT, and lack of understanding of benefits that IT can provide (Suraweera, Pulakanam, & Guler, 2006). On the other hand, three key factors for success of a project are: user involvement, executive management support, and a clear statement of requirements (Daniels & LaMarsh, 2007). Other factors of project success are simplified/standardized project plan, motivated/experienced staff, clear objectives, alignment of IT project with business strategy, careful planning of change process and top management support (Suraweera et al., 2006).

In today’s environment, to remain competitive and agile, to improve productivity, to lower the cost of development, and to make use of expertise available globally, firms make effective use of project teams distributed across the globe. Ease of communication, coordination and collaboration foster global project teams. As Laurent (2007, p. 1) noted, “Globalization implies a strong networked and distributed development process; it offers high potential for businesses due to its innovation, flexibility, cost reduction, time reduction, and improving quality.” Further, many projects that are multidisciplinary and complex nature require skills, experience, consultation, and decisions of numerous individuals who may be dispersed across many geographic locations (McDonough & Cedrone, 1998).

Software development industry is now taking advantages of global virtual teams such as access to larger pool of people having varied computing and managerial skills, reduce software development time by taking advantage of 24-hour shifts of distributed teams and decreased labor costs by outsourcing software development to low wage countries (Anjum, Islam Zafar, & Mehdi, 2006). Offshore outsourcing is increasingly common in IT projects (Braun, 2007).

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