Impediments to Effective Management of Project Interdependencies: A Study of IT/IS Project Portfolios

Impediments to Effective Management of Project Interdependencies: A Study of IT/IS Project Portfolios

Sameer Bathallath (Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden), Åsa Smedberg (Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden) and Harald Kjellin (Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/JECO.2017040102

Abstract

Interdependencies between projects have come to play a more active role in the decision on IT/IS portfolios and their constituent projects. However, managing these interdependencies can be a complex task, especially when the number and degree of interdependencies among projects are high. In times of uncertainty, unexpected challenges can seriously disrupt projects and, consequently, their interdependencies. This may threaten the project portfolio from achieving its final goal. The study aims to investigate the difficulties associated with managing project interdependence along the development cycle of the project portfolio. The study was conducted using a qualitative approach and semi-structured interviews with managers from four leading organizations in Saudi Arabia. The findings reveal three main categories of factors that increased the difficulty of managing project interdependencies in large IT/IS project portfolios: insufficient understanding of human responsibilities in the whole portfolio, unpredictability of the environment, and technology barriers and constraints.
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Research Method

The objective of the study is to understand the difficulties associated with managing project interdependencies in IT/IS project portfolios environments and pinpoint the drivers for these difficulties. The nature of this study is qualitative. It aims to capture people’s views and experiences on complexity issues and factors that led to bottlenecks in handling project interdependencies. The qualitative research approach helps to understand problems’ real contexts and settings through people who have experienced these problems (Creswell 2012). How this can be done is described in Yin (2011). In qualitative research, interviews are rich sources of information and most preferred technique for collecting in-depth information in the informants’ own words. Semi-structured approach for conducting the interviews is found to be appropriate for the data collection since it gives freedom for emerging questions during the interview (Myers 2009). To undertake the semi-structured interviews with more efficient measures, we formulated multiple themes of questions as follows:

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