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Title: An empirical study of CSFs and the development of the PDES for IS projects in the mainland of China
Other Titles: Zhongguo nei di xin xi xi tong xiang mu guan jian cheng gong yin su shi zheng yan jiu ji zhen duan yu ce ping xi tong she ji
Authors: Dong, Chao (董超)
Department: Dept. of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Information resources management -- China
Management information systems -- China
Project management -- China
Notes: CityU Call Number: T58.64.D66 2006
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 207-220)
Thesis (Ph.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2006
xiii, 235 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Type: Thesis
Abstract: Today, almost every organization uses different types of projects to cope with the ever increasing competition and pace of change in technology and marketplace. Many have invested in Information Systems (IS) projects to try to harness the power of computers to improve performance in business and operation. IS projects are still growing fast and continuing to be invested with huge amounts of money all over the world. They have also suffered greatly from a high rate of failure. There have been considerable studies reported in project management literature on factors that affect the success or failure of projects in past decades. However, many of these critical success factors (CSFs) are rather too general as they tend to be derived from a wide variety of project types and not specific to a certain class of projects; in particular, the IS projects. Meanwhile, extensive literature review finds little effort being focused specifically on the project success of IS projects from project management perspective. China, the most populated country in the world, has been fast developing into a major economic entity with enormous size and great growth potential. Despite the great success of its economic reform, China’s IS project failure rate is reported to be even worse than those in developed countries in the West. Many recent studies and anecdotal evidence also indicate that project management in China is still at an early stage of development and there is a great deal of room for improvement. Literature review finds little published work on the current IS project management practices in Mainland China let alone the study of their CSFs. Furthermore, it has been repeatedly reported that there are remarkable differences of culture, management practices and business environment between China and the Western developed countries. Thus we believe that the CSFs of projects identified in the developed countries may not be totally applicable in the same manner to the Chinese IS project management practices and environment. To bridge this gap, this research has set out to firstly, study the CSFs of IS projects in the Mainland of China and secondly, develop a project diagnosis and evaluation system (PDES) that can be used as a practical diagnostic instrument to improve the management of IS projects in contemporary China. This CSFs study was carried out through two questionnaire surveys in Mainland China. The findings of the first survey help to lay the foundation for the second survey. A list of 12 CSFs and five project-dimension project success made up the conceptual framework for the first survey. The first questionnaire survey was conducted in 2003. The results indicate that 9 of the 12 CSFs in the original list together with the new five-dimension project success are relevant to Chinese IS project practices. The nine CSFs are “effective communication”, “clear project definition”, “competent project manager”, “top management support”, “project planning”, “competent project team members”, “project control and change management”, “user involvement” and “relationship management”. The five success dimensions are the Iron Triangle, user’s short-term satisfaction, user’s long-term satisfaction, top management’s satisfaction and project team’s satisfaction. In this survey, “relationship management” is first identified as an important CSF for Chinese IS projects. A CRISP (Conjoint Regimen for Information System Project) framework showing the relative significance of different CSFs, how they interact and affect project success was put forward. Based on the findings of the first survey, a second project evaluation questionnaire was designed to further study the IS projects practices in Mainland China. This second survey was carried out in 2004 to examine the management practices in contemporary Chinese IS projects and identify the building blocks needed to construct the PDES mentioned earlier. The data of the survey of 224 projects reveals that Chinese project personnel perform well in their “relationship management” and “clear project definition” but poorly in “project planning”, “project control and change management”. A project CSF capability benchmark was established based on the CSF results of 112 successful projects. A correlation model was also developed from the statistical relationships between project success dimensions and CSFs of the second survey. Rooted in the results of the two surveys, the proposed PDES was developed from the three elements: project evaluation questionnaire, project CSF capability benchmark and the correlation model. The PDES is specially designed to assist Chinese project participants to gauge project situation, identify the strengths and weaknesses of projects in order to determine improvement decisions and actions. The trial application procedure of the PDES was then carried out using two typical IS. The PDES pilot application in two IS projects was carried out in Shanghai in May, 2005. Positive feedback from participants of both projects who were interviewed suggested that PDES has achieved its preset aim as a project diagnostic instrument. It has also been shown to be a useful and reliable methodology that can effectively assist the Chinese IS project participants to improve their project management.
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