The increasing failure of IT projects has led to debate about the way these projects are currently managed and to a search for new concepts and theories about project management in order to decrease the failure rate. We assume that it is important to know how to observe an on-going IT project in order to better understand the issues at stake. For this reason, without rejecting previous studies, our purpose is to present a method that may improve our understanding of IT project failure. We do this by demonstrating the value of observing the IT project as a project network. We show that IT project success or failure can be understood during the on-going project as lying along a continuum between convergence and divergence. We present the four characteristics that describe the trajectory of convergence or divergence. Our analyse is based on a longitudinal case study, The Pupitre Virtuel project, an IT project in the French educational area national. The dynamic observation of interactions of project network entities along a continuum convergent/divergent stresses the difficulty to isolate one or few failure factors. Conversely, our observation allows understanding the evolution of the project by considering the dynamic of interactions over time and the on-going redefinitions of its entities through controversies. From this perspective, it would be possible to correct the project trajectory in real time in order to avoid its collapse.
Meier, Olivier and Missonier, Stephanie, "TRAJECTORY OF AN IT PROJECT NETWORK: CONVERGENCE, DIVERGENCE AND ADJUSTEMENT PROCESS" (2012). ECIS 2012 Proceedings. 171.