Information Technology System Projects Fail Research Paper

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[. . .] Quality is the most important factor as it is directly related to customer satisfaction and repeated tests of systems and quality control checks can help to mitigate the risk of failure in this respect. Last but not the least, proper budgeting will take care of labor and overhead costs along with allocation of personnel, hardware and software equipment (Oz and Sosik, 2000)

As leadership influences all other facets of a project, it also affects project management practices adopted to ensure that objectives are met. For instance, effective research and development outcomes, team integration in IS project management and project modernization are all directly related to strong and competent leadership. Along with this, supervising of project and costs incurred is an important activity which cannot be completed by submissive and incompetent management. External environment is continually changing, and so are the factors influencing a project's success. In order to cope with the competitive environment, leaders should have the flexibility to change with circumstances and employ adequate skills to generate new and better ideas to improve the quality of the project with time. It is not possible for an inactive leader to be fully aware of the external environment and make contingency plans in order to meet the new challenges faced with each changing minute (Oz and Sosik, 2000).

Attitude of effective and strong management is to assist members of the team by seeking organizational support, making a suitable work plan to follow, to endow the team with all resources required at the best price available and to boost the confidence of the team as a whole. This further clears out the difference between active and passive leaders, as it is not possible for senior management to have this mind set. Corporate leaders are looked upon as idols by their subordinates and the way they handle the team and all team related issues set up examples for others to follow. The more time a leader spends with his team, the more he can ensure that there is a strong communication network and all problems are handled with professionalism. On the contrary, if a leader is unavailable most of the time, the overall morale of other team members will also go down. This is because they will feel that the leader is indifferent towards the team and their professional development. Also, an incompetent leader will fail to provide the team with all the resources they require, be it personnel, or any equipment necessary for project (Oz and Sosik, 2000).

Influences of Communication

As enlightened earlier, each project has a specific goal or objective to achieve and a team works together to achieve that goal. Therefore, for a project to be a success, its aim should be explicit, clear and understood by all team members. Normally, goals are set by senior management and then communicated down the hierarchy to the junior most people on the team. The way goals are expressed and the flow of communication symbolize the organizational structure and behavior of team members. For example, routine tasks such as senior-junior relation, job description, development methodology and hierarchy indicating who should report to whom are shown by the way expression of goals flow throughout the organization (Oz and Sosik, 2000).

A clear understanding of what is the preferred outcome facilitates a member to prioritize its tasks, discern the necessary actions to take and to assemble resources in order to undertake those steps. At an early stage, goals are easy to achieve. This provokes an inherent motivation in individuals and the performance of team improves by every minute. This motivation results in team members being truly committed to the project and to achieving its objectives; this commitment and hard work is an attribute of task-oriented culture and is termed as team work (Oz and Sosik, 2000).

Team synergy and timely conflict resolution between different team members is an active contributor to a project's success. Lack of communication within the team will result in members having vague ideas about the objectives of the project or each other. With each person thinking differently, unnecessary meetings are held to resolve the conflicts, taking up extra time and delaying the project. As majority of time is spent on conflict resolution, other important areas such as quality control and adoption of best practices are ignored which causes majority of the IS and IT projects to fail as well. Hence effective and lucid communication is a vital aspect for success (Oz and Sosik, 2000). Some of the other factors needed for IT projects success include:

Inadequate Skills and Means

Teams should have the right balance of skills and knowledge required to make a project successful. Research suggests that if the team members do not have the necessary skills and knowledge, this can create disturbance in work as the person might take two or three tries to get it right. This will cause unnecessary delay and waste of resources (Oz and Sosik, 2000).

Project Leadership

A leader is supposed to be an idol for team members to follow. He has a vision, a dream to achieve a particular objective, and takes into account all internal and external influences that can hinder its achievement. The process by which he gathers resources, including personnel, and makes them all work towards the same goal is termed as "Leadership" (Barry, 2005).

Leadership Styles

Leadership styles can be classified in a lot of ways. Extensive research work is available on this matter. One of the researchers, Ehrhart and Klien (2001) has differentiated Leadership Styles in three ways; charismatic, task oriented and relationship oriented (Barry, 2005).

Individuals who are sure about what they want, they know how to achieve it and are positive that team members will follow into their lead without any question or doubt, are known as Charismatic leaders. Task oriented leaders are concerned with achieving high quality results within an appropriate budget and time. Their main focus will be on selecting the right team, with suitable skills and knowledge, to allocate resources efficiently and plan work in way that helps to meet targets within time. To sum up, completing the given task efficiently and effectively is their primary objective. Relationship oriented leaders are more sensitive to the feelings of team members than the other two. The prime focus is on personal and professional development of team members; leader is an excellent communicator and treats others with respect and appreciation (Barry, 2005).

Each of the above classification can be directly related to IS projects. Charismatic leaders are innovative, they have faith in a new software or technology and are determined that this will improve the performance of work. Such individuals are not scared to take risks; they are confident about the project, the team and will leave no stones unturned to fulfill their dream. On the contrary, task oriented leaders focus on improving current processes. They first identify the weaknesses in current systems and processes, establish a way to overcome those weaknesses and allocate resources accordingly. They identify the necessary actions to take, set mini deadlines for project which are often termed as milestones and then manage resources to complete the task effectively. Where charismatic and task oriented leaders talk about work and systems, relationship oriented leaders are more concerned with establishing team work. They strive to maintain a balance between work and team. Although work is given high priority, the way they get things done is different. They treat all team members equally, listen to each member's concerns, allow them to discuss their suggestions and arrive at the best conclusion and even reward staff for good performance (Barry, 2005).

Managing the Change Process

Change is a vital part of any project. It cannot be overlooked; every leader has to deal with it. Environment changes constantly, and all these changes affect the project; some in good way and some in bad, some changes have a greater impact while others can go unnoticed. Mostly, people are opposed to change, as it influences their normal routine. However, if the organization has to survive in the long run, it will have to accept change, no matter how unwilling they are to do so. Impact of change on an IS project can be determined by its extent and the stage at which it hits the project. At initial stage of a project, senior management will deal with it. Any opposition by leaders at this stage is referred to as strategic IS resistance. After it has been resolved, the friction slides down to the business units and its name changes to Tactical resistance. It is tackled through training sessions and counseling. Once resolved, the contention moves down to the junior staff and is now termed as operational resistance. No matter at what stage it is, it has to be dealt with and only leadership style suitable for the organization considering its culture and attitude of people can handle this issue.

Leadership and Change

It is asserted by Schein (1996) that an organization is divided into sub-cultures.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Information Technology System Projects Fail.  (2012, March 23).  Retrieved February 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/information-technology-system-projects/7089946

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