Are Risks in IT Global and Local Projects the Same?: Systematic Literature Review of the Last 20 Years

Are Risks in IT Global and Local Projects the Same?: Systematic Literature Review of the Last 20 Years

Rosaria de F. S. M. Russo (Universidade Nove de Julho, Brazil) and Franciane F. Silveira (Federal University of ABC, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1786-4.ch001

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to identifier the differentiation of risk between global and local projects through exploratory research carried out using a systematic literature review. One thousand seven hundred twenty-five risks were identified in 46 articles published in the last 20 years and classified within 22 categories. The major concern regarded in local project management was the client (external risk) and scope (internal risk) and, in global project management, the psychic distance (external) and coordination and control (internal). The main difference between the risk categories for each project type refers to the psychic distance category, which was identified almost exclusively in global projects, thus making the external risks more relevant than those in local projects. On the other hand, it allows some risks, such as supplier and stakeholder, to be underestimated. The results indicate that project managers should focus on different risks depending on the type of IT project: global or local.
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Background

IT projects are classified into system and infrastructure development projects. In the former, delivery is a computational system. In the latest, on the other hand, deliveries are related to servers, communications, and other several possibilities, thus having specific risks for each type (Sommerville, 2015). In this chapter, systems will be the focus. It is common to use offshore teams in this type of project (Kliem, 2004), constituting what is known as a global project, which uses distributed teams (Ebert, 2011). Specifically, software projects have been called distributed software development.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Internal Risk Factor: It is related to the internal operations of the organization refer to providing capacity and competence. They can vary greatly depending on the product (complexity, product process, technology), the project (acquisition, communication, coordination and control, cost, scope, staff management, quality and time), and the organization as environmental.

External Risk Factor: It arises from outside the organization, can only be mitigated, but cannot be managed. They can be classified as client, psychic distance, political, regulatory, economic, social, technology, environment, stakeholder, and suppliers.

Local Project: It involves a single or a limited number of organizations in a near location geographically.

Psychic Distance: The sum of the factors that affect the flow of information between countries whose companies perform certain trading activities, in terms of development, educational content and level, language, culture, economy, political system, market structure, among others.

Risk Management: Process of identifying, analyzing, defining strategies to deal with the more concerning risks, which can be threats or opportunities to project objectives. In the process, it is included the control of the risks throughout the life cycle of the project.

Global Project: It involves individuals, teams, groups, business units and organizations from multiple locations with different cultures, languages or other characteristics.

Risk: It is a situation that can influence the project goals and outcomes, depending upon the probability of occurrence and impact of loss. This impact cannot be completely eliminated, but if well managed it can be reduced.

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