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Title: Exploring successful project management tactics for systems development projects in an outsourcing context
Other Titles: Tan tao ruan jian kai fa wai pan xiang mu de cheng gong guan li ji qiao
Authors: Ho, Hong Ming (何康明)
Department: Department of Information Systems
Degree: Master of Philosophy
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Information resources management -- China -- Hong Kong.
Project management -- China -- Hong Kong.
Contracting out -- China -- Hong Kong.
Notes: CityU Call Number: HD30.2 .H625 2008
xi, 230 leaves 30 cm.
Thesis (M.Phil.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 222-230)
Type: thesis
Abstract: Despite project management critical success factors have been widely researched since mid-1960, findings are non-conclusive on whether they would address the persistent problem of low success rate of IT projects in the past 4 decades. Four main reasons for the discrepancy between academic research and practice in IT project management have been identified: 1) Too many success factors distract practitioners’ attention from the more important factors. 2) One size does not fit all, so a single list of success factors cannot fulfill the needs of all stakeholders. 3) The developed frameworks are too complicated for practitioners to put them into practice. 4) Development environment has evolved to such an extent that success factors identified by prior studies may not fit into the new contexts (e.g. outsourcing). This study seeks to systemically identify a set of success factors for systems development outsourcing projects that can be served as guidance for both clients and vendors. A new term, Project Management (PM) Tactics, is used to denote the newly identified success factors. PM tactics, which can be applied in the emerging systems development outsourcing projects, have been identified, cast and prioritized. In order to enhance the usability of the findings, PM tactics are related to the project outcomes that enable practitioners to predict the likelihood of the corresponding project outcome of particular tactics in practice. Besides, different comparisons have been made by roles and by measuring methods. Respondents are classified into three different roles namely in-house developer, client and vendor. Both perceived importance and extent of usage are adopted as measuring methods for prioritizing PM tactics. PM tactics are also prioritized by different roles and by different methods. Findings obtained from different roles were contrasted. Data were collected with the support from two IT professional bodies, namely the Hong Kong Computer Society and Project Management Institute Hong Kong Chapter. Results from 136 respondents revealed that the two most important PM tactics are “ensuring participants have a clear understanding on the project objectives and scopes” and “getting top management support in resource allocations”, while the least important PM tactic is “using project management tool to help in planning, scheduling and decision making”. Identifying success factors for systems development outsourcing projects is under researched. The findings of this study can fill this gap. This study also contributes practically by exploring the causal relationships between PM tactics and project outcomes in order to help practitioners predict the most likely project outcomes. Interestingly, the results also revealed that respondents are not frequently practicing the PM tactics which they consider to be important. That means organizations may encounter some constraints which may inhibit the implementation of some important PM tactics. The realism of prior studies, which identify success factors by measuring respondents’ perception, is in doubt. Hence, the finding from this study has significant theoretical contribution to the project management success factors literature.
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