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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

In 1996 an agreement was made between a well-known beverage manufacturer, Super-Cola Taiwan, (SCT) and a small Australian electrical engineering company, Dag-Brücken ASRS Pty Ltd, (DB), to provide an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) facility as part of SCT’s production facilities in Asia. Recognising the potential of their innovative and technically advanced design, DB was awarded a State Premiers Export Award and was a finalist in that year’s National Export Awards. The case tracks the development and subsequent implementation of the SCT ASRS project, setting out to highlight how the lack of appropriate IT development processes contributed to the ultimate failure of the project and the subsequent winding up of DB only one year after being honoured with these prestigious awards. The case provides compelling evidence of the types of project management incompetency that, from the literature, appears to contribute to the high failure rate in IT projects. For confidentiality reasons, the names of the principal parties are changed, but the case covers actual events documented by one of the project team members as part of his postgraduate studies, providing an example of the special mode of evidence collection that Yin (1994) calls ‘participant-observation.’

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