International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management

Document Type



The use of Information Technology (IT) to drive organizational change has gained momentum in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, and currently culminates in a vivid discussion on what many call “Digital Transformation”. It is not surprising then that practitioners seek guidance on how to manage such transformation. Professional bodies have addressed this need by issuing best practice standards for Program Management (PgM), but we know little about their value in managing programs in general and IT programs in particular. Academic research on IT PgM is still in its very infancy. Taking this as motivation, we have investigated the challenges that managers faced in five IT programs that encountered problems. Our analysis reveals a set of management issues and shortcomings including, among others, a lack of architectural overview, difficulties in dealing with scope changes, stakeholder interest, diverse business groups and cultures, as well as a lack of internal PgM competences and unclear management responsibilities. In this paper, based on our findings, we present a first checklist for managing IT programs across their life cycle. Though still tentative and not necessarily comprehensive, we were able to confirm that our checklist provides relevant guidance for managing IT programs in practice.



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