MIS Quarterly Executive


IT-enabled organizational change has not always succeeded. But this paper traces a successful case ¨C the Gemini project ¨C at the University of Illinois Medical Center (UIMC), a leading public healthcare institution in the United States. This effort, which took place from 1996 to 2002, exemplifies the multitude of challenges faced in large-scale IT projects. The main distinguishing factor is that the dominant players were the healthcare professionals. The project centered around developing and implementing a comprehensive, enterprise-wide, healthcare information system to cater to a wide range of users ¨C physicians, clinical leaders, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare workers. For some users, Gemini represented improved work, integrated information, informed decision making, better patient care, and ultimately a better organization. For others, it signaled a threat to their established work practices and implied additional work with little added value for them. For still others, it seemed a waste of time and energy. As the project progressed, a number of functional, organizational, technological, and political challenges emerged ¨C often several times. The way each issue was resolved is the heart of the transformation story. This article explores these challenges and ends by presenting six main lessons learned about instituting IT-enabled organizational change in a "professional-rich" organization.