Organizations generally have a variety of IT projects to implement, but only limited resources to develop them. As information technology and systems pervade organizations, the pool of potential IT projects is continually increasing. In this paper, we explore IT project prioritization practices in a real life context and contrast them with the rational approaches which dominate the IS literature. We present a case study conducted in a large Scandinavian financial institution in which we found that the IT project prioritization process involved an informal way of generating and collecting project ideas and that several types of constraints limited the number of projects as well the type of projects. The study shows that calculated, financial benefits are not used for prioritization, that intangible benefits are very important despite not being measured and that alternatives approaches based on intuition and trust govern the prioritization process. Our results, supported by other research studies, open up new paths for the discussion of the nature of IT project prioritization and for the improvement of a prioritization process which is based less on rational considerations and more on a balanced approach of instinct, faith and contextual reasoning which also takes tangible, calculated benefits into account. We suggest for future work a further investigation of the relationship between these elements in the context of IT project prioritization.
Shollo, Arisa and Kautz, Karlheinz, "IT PROJECT PRIORITIZATION – A MATTER OF INTUITION AND TRUST" (2011). ECIS 2011 Proceedings. 172.