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Abstract

The case describes the challenges faced by IT managers at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in their efforts to upgrade the Bureau's IT infrastructure while developing the largest, most complex strategic application ever attempted at the Bureau. After expending 15 years of effort and $400 million, the BLM cancelled the program. The case identifies obstacles faced by IT and non-IT managers in attempting to implement strategic information technology in large, complex organizations. Obstacles identified in this case include: the BLM's culture of autonomy that tended to undermine support for the initiative, technological limitations that impacted the selection of technical standards, and organizational resource and knowledge constraints that adversely impacted the BLM's ability to manage such a large IT development effort successfully.

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