Project Management: Lessons From
IT and Non-IT Projects PETER W. G. MORRIS
IntroductionInformation technology projects have a notorious reputation, in many
respects justly deserved. Information technology touches us all, increasingly.
We are seduced with the benefits that IT will bring but are often disappointed with delays in implementation, with costs which exceed budgets,
and with poor operating performance. The record of some large information technology projects has been very bad and the consequences to the
businesses which have come to rely on information processing for their
operations can be enormously damaging.Why do information technology projects have this poor reputation?
Is it that IT projects are inevitably more difficult to manage? Or is it that
those working on IT projects are in some primitive state of ignorance of
the benefits that project management can bring them? The answer ought
not to be the latter. It is often not recognized in fact that information
technology was one of the pioneering industries in the development of
project management and has remained at the forefront of the discipline
throughout the years since its development.We can date the emergence of modern project management from the
Manhattan Project in World War II and, particularly, the USA's intercontinental ballistic and missile programmes in the early 1950s ( Morris 1992).
The essential 'project management' features of these programmes were:
|1. ||an emphasis on identifying management as a separate special
|2. ||the provision of that management by specialists, particularly firms
of systems engineers and managers such as TRW who concentrated
on (a) defining and accomplishing the overall needs of the system as a whole, and (b) doing so within specified time, to specified
technical performance, and (frankly to a much lesser extent) within
|3. ||the development of a series of planning and control techniques to
assist in this systems and programme management effort, the earliest,|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Information Management:The Organizational Dimension.
Contributors: Michael J. Earl - Editor.
Publisher: Oxford University Press.
Place of publication: Oxford.
Publication year: 1998.
Page number: 321.
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