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Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.
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Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.

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Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.

Reducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management: How Managing Stakeholders Effectively Can Lead to Success in e-Government Projects.

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  • 1. University of Liverpool Management SchoolBAPA 105Project Management2011/2012Coursework AssignmentReducing the Risk of Failure in Project Management:How Managing Stakeholders EffectivelyCan Lead to Success in e-Government ProjectsAuthor : Module Leader : Dr. Iain ReidMarco Rodolfo MarabeseMBA Student March 22, 2012The Liverpool MBA ProgramID 200819669m.marabese@liverpool.ac.uk
  • 2. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12Reducing the risk of failure is one of the priorities for a project manager and for this reasonextensive research has been done on this topic. However, in order to lead a project tosuccess, focusing on critical aspects of the project lifecycle is crucial. One aspect, as statedby the Project Management Institute (PMI), is related to stakeholders (PMI, 2008). The aimof this essay is to investigate this feature in a particular branch of Information Technology(IT) projects: electronic Government (e-Government), which is the use of IT to improve theefficiency of public administration. According to my experience in such projects, meetingstakeholders’ needs (especially external stakeholders, notably citizens) is the main goal forpublic organisations. In the last decade, e-Government projects continue to have animportant presence in the life of contemporary public sector organisations as they oftenplay a strategic role in community development. In the European Union (EU), IT expendituresin 2004 were estimated at about €36.5 billion (eGEP, 2006) with the UK, Germany, Franceand Italy as the largest investors. However, as stated by Heeks (2003), despite a hugeinvestment in new technologies, a large number of e-Government projects fail eitherpartially or totally. This essay will highlight, with an analytical approach, how risk of failurein e-Government projects can be reduced by understanding stakeholders’ expectations. Itwill also explain the importance of managing stakeholders from a project managementperspective and how they can lead to successful implementation of Information Systems (IS)in the public sector.It was not until Freeman (1984) that a thorough, analytical study of stakeholders’expectations was conducted during the development of a company project. He highlightedstakeholders’ importance to the long-term effectiveness of a business goal by defining therelationship between stakeholders’ roles and the organisation’s objective. Freeman furtherchanged his model (Freeman et al., 2004) and it has been recently developed by 1
  • 3. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12Achterkam and Vos (2008). However, this essay also draws to some extent on theapproach supported by Stieb, who argued against Freeman’s assumption of ‘creating valuefor stakeholders’ via ‘the question of altruism’ (Stieb, 2009). For example, he reported howthe pursuit of personal interests sometimes can overstep the bounds and endanger thesuccess of a particular project. Furthermore, it is acknowledged that there is a need to beaware of the possible limitations of understanding the environment from some stakeholderswho are covering the role of decision-makers (Stieb, 2009).Authors have tended to associate stakeholders’ expectations with the study of a businessfacet, such as development management (Cook et al., 1995); urban environmentalinfrastructure improvement (Ogu, 2000); teaching and learning methods in an educationsystem (Wearne, 2008) and all aspects related to large-scale building constructions, suchas an international airport (Toor and Ogunlana, 2009).The expectation of failure of IS from a stakeholder’s perception has prompted considerableresearch. Starting from Freeman’s studies, Lyytinen developed a model that providedinformation on the frequency of different types of IS failures (Lyytinen, 1988). In this model,stakeholders can face problems in two different ways: ‘development failures’ and ‘usefailures’. Both ways can be analysed and predicted to reduce the risk of failure. Pan(2005) used Freeman’s stakeholder analytical framework and Lyytinen’s considerations toassess a case of project failure in an IS. Recently, Lyytinen’s model was redefined andadapted to be used in modern IS by Barclay and Osei-Bryson. Using their model known asProject Performance Develop Framework (PPDF), they evaluated the impact ofstakeholders’ actions on project performance from a project management view in aCaribbean-based software organisation (Barclay and Osei-Bryson, 2010). 2
  • 4. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12Because public administration involves a specific business in the IS field, e-Government, inthe context of this study, it includes electronic services delivered by a local administration.Several studies have explored the risks and benefits of failure in this project category. Thefirst example of automation in a government department is described by Gammon (1954),but it was only after the Internet revolution that e-Government became more popular. Asdefined by Heeks (2001), e-Government is the use of new technologies to supportgovernment activities. According to Heeks, this kind of project is no longer strictly related to‘IT in government,’ but it embraces activities like ‘e-Administration’ (creating efficiency in agovernment environment), ‘e-Citizens and e-Services’ (creating an effective connectionbetween citizens and governments) and ‘e-Society’ (creating good interaction between localgovernments and communities)(2001, p.1). Lately, Rowley (2011) highlighted stakeholders’importance in e-Government projects. These are strictly related to the development ofpotential benefits for stakeholders and satisfaction from the service experience that mayaffect the results of a project management approach. She also emphasised that ‘in e-Government, both individuals and organisations can play several roles, either concurrentlyor in sequence’ (Rowley, 2011, p. 54). She also defined a list of twelve typologies ofstakeholders’ roles, starting from the common user of the service, notably ‘externalstakeholders’ (citizen or group of citizens), ending with the people who play a back-officerole in these kinds of projects (project managers, developers, partners and researchers).Among these roles, she identified public administration employees and other governmentagencies as stakeholders; notably, they play a fundamental part in the project lifecycle.According to the EU, e-Government projects can be categorised in a four-level framework.In the first level (simply website), only information and administrative policies are providedonline and in the second level (online government), additional services, such as email or webforms, are implemented. The third level (integrated government) is where some 3
  • 5. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12administrative procedures are provided online with a strong integration between backoffice and front office. In level four (transformed government), services are fully automatedand ‘are built up from the viewpoint of internal and external users’ (Epratice.eu, 2011). Thehigher the level of interaction, the higher the risk of failure. The main consideration is toalign the system with stakeholders’ ongoing concerns.The focus of this analysis is the development of new ‘level-four’ IS in Local GovernmentAuthorities (LGA). A comparison of two best practices is provided. The first case study,examined by Sarikas and Weerakkody (2011), relates to the adoption of e-Governmentsolutions in a London borough city council (council X). The second case, based on my workexperience and on a quantitative analysis for my prior dissertation project (Marabese andRoiter, 2007), is related to the implementation of e-Government services in the municipalityof Como (Italy) (ComOnLine). While Sarikas and Weerakkody mainly focus their analysison internal stakeholders’ needs in a qualitative way, Marabese and Roiter explore citizens’expectations in a quantitative approach. Furthermore, to better evaluate the projectmanagement approach from a stakeholders’ perception in both case studies, the 4-D model(Maylor, 2010) will be used. This framework allows us to use the mechanism of continuousproject improvement to reduce the risk of failure in e-Government practices. 4
  • 6. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12 D1: Define it D4: Develop it D2: Design it D3: Do it Managing the Project Process : The 4-D Model (Maylor, 2010, p.1)According to the 4-D model, the first step is called ‘Define It’ (D1). To reduce the risk offailure in this step, it is necessary to identify the right group of stakeholders. It is widelyagreed that one major challenge project managers face with stakeholder identification ishow to clearly define the relevant group instead of considering all groups and individuals.The argument that e-Government stakeholders’ groups are different from other IT projectshas been well-rehearsed by Jones et al. (2007). The main motivation is to improve andtransform the way of delivering governmental services to citizens and enterprises. Thegovernment sector is not only motivated by financial objectives; the evidence suggests thatthe main objectives are related to political and strategic goals defined by localgovernments in line with a strategic national (or international) plan. Both projects analysedin this essay were part of a national strategic plan defined by the central government torealise fully-integrated e-Government services; ComOnLine was a key strategic assignmentof Digital Public Administration Plan. With this in mind, to reduce the risk of failure, projectmanagers should identify key stakeholders and consider them in the requirement analysis.To categorise e-Government stakeholders in a qualitative way, the Power/Interest grid 5
  • 7. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12(Scholes and Johnson, 2001) can be used. The matrix evaluates how stakeholders caninfluence the project (Power) and the impact of the project on them (Interest). High Keep satisfied Manage closely Power Monitor only Keep informed Low Low Interest High Stakeholders Mapping: the Power/Interest – Mendelow Matrix (Johnson and Scholes, 2001, p.167)By properly identifying groups of stakeholders according to the grid, risk of failure can bereduced. The first quadrant (monitor only) is composed of special interest groups, such asaggregated citizens’ corporations, or other organisations, such as close municipalities. Inquadrant 2 (keep informed) and quadrant 3 (keep satisfied), citizens (over 300,000 forComOnLine and over 340,000 for council X), profit and non-profit organisations, andgovernments (interaction among local, national and international level) are located. Inparticular, citizens’ satisfaction plays a crucial role in this stage. Finally, the last sectorconsists of public administration employees and IT personnel. They are the highest priorityfor project managers and it is necessary to manage them through continuous involvement.The evidence from my previous work experience suggests that, in order to better perform,considering stakeholders with high power and dealing with them in the initial steps of theproject is fundamental to success. 6
  • 8. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12Moving towards the second step, ‘Design it’ (D2), quality represents the most crucial issuefor project managers in e-Government practices. It is widely agreed that the critical successfactor is creating quality for stakeholders, especially citizens. As stated by Maylor, qualityis ‘the result of expectation and perceptions that can be managed through two-waycommunications’ (p. 202, 2010). Citizens inevitably draw high expectations from thegovernment service they use (or will use) and a gap between perception and expectation iswhat a project manager has to deal with. Two examples from literature focus on risk offailure in government transformation projects: Esteves and Joseph (2008) and Heeks(2003). They are interesting for the analysis as they adopt strongly different approaches.While Esteves and Joseph concentrate on the analysis of the gap among strategic,technological and economical dimensions (in this case, risk assessment identifies threatsinside an e-Government project), Heeks focuses his attention on the analysis of the reality-design gap from a stakeholder’s perspective by using a model called ITPOSMO(Information, Technology, Process, Objectives and Values, Staffing and Skills, ManagementSystems and Structures and Other Resources) (Heeks, 2003, p. 3). In ComOnline, a TotalQuality Management (TQM) approach was used; this approach, adapted to informationsystems by Aggarwal and Rezaee (1996) and then further developed for our analysis,consisted of a continuous analysis of user expectations, especially external users (notably,citizens). The following performances involved in the project had been monitored in order toevaluate citizens’ expectations: cost reduction, time reduction, data entry reduction, serviceaccessibility, clarity of procedures, user-friendliness, transparency of procedures andservice multimedia. Once these performances had been identified, a survey was conducted.According to the survey (on a sample of 100 citizens), user-friendliness, cost reduction andtime reduction were the three major customer requirements (with time reduction as the keydriver for non-IT citizens) (Marabese & Roiter, 2007). However, an analysis of internal 7
  • 9. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12stakeholders’ expectations is important at this stage. As Sarikas and Weerakkody reportedfrom the project in council X, improving vertical and horizontal integration of new e-Government platforms and data-sharing is one of the main concerns for project managers.In both cases, communication with stakeholders plays an active role in order to reduce risk;furthermore, social contact between project managers and stakeholders can enhance thelevel of quality. At this stage, in order to facilitate project managers’ work, as suggestedby Barber (2003), benchmarking the project with other similar case studies could be useful;furthermore, from my experience in system development projects, knowledge re-use is acommon practice.In the third step, ‘Do it’ (D3), greater control could help lead the project to a success. Inorder to better assess and reduce the risk of failure, it is necessary to implement aneffective system of control. Santaris et al. (2010) proposed a goal-driven framework forelectronic government transformation projects implementation (eGTPM). A definition of amilestone, through this model, is a tangible step in the project that could be related to astate; one of these milestones is related to stakeholders’ coordination and communication. Incouncil X, unclear control and an underestimation of length of activities and number of staffcreated a general dissatisfaction because ‘IT staff were struggling to cope with theirincreasing workload’ (Sarikas and Weerakkody, 2007, p.163). Within ComOnLine, acontinuous system of control was implemented. A second survey was conducted to evaluatethe satisfaction level of citizens (now e-Government users) after the implementation of a testenvironment. A series of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) was defined at that stage; eachKPI was related to one performance described in the second stage (D2) and the level ofsatisfaction was measured based on user experience. It can be argued that people withvarious backgrounds or IT skills may incur a different experience. However, one major 8
  • 10. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12concern as stated by Grimsley et al. (2007) was to create social inclusion and reach alldifferent classes of citizens.Finally, the last stage, ‘Develop it’ (D4), is related to project completion and review.According to my work experience in the IT sector and as highlighted by Wilson et al.(2007), training is an important part of any e-Government project. In council X, knowledgesharing at the end of the project was fundamental. The evidence suggests that there is astrong need for information on how to use these services; the role of project managers is toassure that all the instruments necessary to share knowledge with stakeholders (both internaland external) are provided.In conclusion, this essay has explained how strong stakeholder interaction could lead tosuccess in e-Government practices. By adopting a project management approach, thepaper has deepened the understanding of the stakeholders’ importance (especiallyexternal, notably citizens) in IT government transformations from a literature perspective(Maylor, 2010; Heeks, 2003; Rowley, 2010; Santaris et al., 2010) and from a morepractical experience based on a case study (Sarikas and Weerakkody, 2007) and theinfluence that my dissertation (Marabese and Roiter, 2007) had on my following career asa project manager in the public sector. By analysing different steps of the project lifecycle,several suggestions may be highlighted. The first, relating to the initial stage of an e-Government project, is the necessity to identify stakeholder groups within the environment –specifically citizens – and understand their Power/Interest. Secondly, once majorstakeholders are identified, understanding their expectations is crucial in the design step.Project managers must be aware of citizens’ requirements to plan a project’s futureactivities. Furthermore, continuous monitoring of users’ perceptions of the service couldreduce the risk of failure and increase the benefits. At this stage, communication withstakeholders must be undertaken. Finally, sharing knowledge and training at the end of the 9
  • 11. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12project could lead to success. I acknowledge that a project manager has to deal with otheraspects of the project, such as time and costs, and for this reason, further studies couldexamine the impact of these factors in e-Government practices. 10
  • 12. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12ReferencesAaltonen, K. and Kujala, J. (2010). "A Project Lifecycle Perspective on StakeholderInfluence Strategies in Global Projects." Scandinavian Journal of Management 26(4): 381-397.Achterkamp, M. C. and Vos J. F. J. (2008). "Investigating the Use of the Stakeholder Notionin Project Management Literature, a Meta-Analysis." International Journal of ProjectManagement 26(7): 749-757.Aggarwal, R. and Rezaee, Z. (1996). "Total Quality Management for Bridging theExpectations Gap in Systems Development." International Journal of Project Management14(2): 115-120.Barber, E. (2004). "Benchmarking the Management of Projects: a Review of CurrentThinking." International Journal of Project Management 22(4): 301-307.Barclay, C. and Osei-Bryson, K.M.(2010). "Project Performance Development Framework:An Approach For Developing Performance Criteria & Measures for Information Systems (IS)Projects." International Journal of Production Economics 124(1): 272-292.Cook, T. J., Vansant, J. et al. (1995). "Performance Measurement: Lessons Learned forDevelopment Management." World Development 23(8): 1303-1315.eGEP (2006). eGEP - eGovernment Economics Project - Measurement Framework FinalVersion [pdf].DG Information Society and Media - European Commission. Available at:<http://www.umic.pt/images/stories/publicacoes200709/D.2.4_Measurement_Framework_final_version.pdf> [Accessed 6 March 2012]. 11
  • 13. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12Epratice.eu (2011). eGovernment Factsheet - European Commission - Information Strategy.European Commission. Available at: <http://www.epractice.eu/en/document/288486>[Accessed 6 March 2012].Esteves, J. and Joseph, R. C. (2008). "A Comprehensive Framework for the Assessment ofeGovernment Projects." Government Information Quarterly 25(1): 118-132.Freeman, R.E. (1984). Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach. Marshfield, MA :Pittman.Freeman, R.E., Wicks, A.C., & Parmar, B. (2004). "Stakeholder Theory and the CorporateObjective Revisited ." Organization Science, 15(3): 364-369.Gammon, H. (1954). "The Automatic Handling of Office Paper Work." Public AdministrationReview 14(1): 63-73.Grimsley,M. Meehan,A. and Tan, A. (2007) "Evaluative Design of e-government Projects: ACommunity Development Perspective." Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy,1(2): 174-193.Irani, Z., Love, P. E. D. et al. (2008). "Learning Lessons from Evaluating eGovernment:Reflective Case Experiences that Support Transformational Government." The Journal ofStrategic Information Systems 17(2): 155-164.Heeks, R. (2001), "Understanding e-Governance for development", paper no. 11, i-Government Working Paper Series, Institute for Development Policy and Management,University of Manchester, Manchester.Heeks, R. (2003), "Most eGovernment-for-Development Projects Fail: How Can Risks BeReduced?", paper no. 14, i-Government Working Paper Series, Institute for DevelopmentPolicy and Management, University of Manchester, Manchester. 12
  • 14. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12Jiang, J. J., Klein, G. et al. (2009). "The Relation of Requirements Uncertainty andStakeholder Perception Gaps to Project Management Performance." Journal of Systems andSoftware 82(5): 801-808.Jones, T.M., Felps, W. & Bigley, G.A. (2007) "Ethical Theory and Stakeholder-RelatedDecisions: The Role Of Stakeholders Culture." Academy of Management Review 32(1): 137-155.Kamal, M., V. Weerakkody, et al. (2011). "Analyzing the Role of Stakeholders in theAdoption of Technology Integration Solutions in UK Local Government: An ExploratoryStudy." Government Information Quarterly 28(2): 200-210.Khazanchi, D. and Reich, B. H. (2008). "Achieving IT Project Success Through Control,Measurement, Managing Expectations, and Top Management Support." InternationalJournal of Project Management 26(7): 699.Lyytinen, K. (1988). "Expectation Failure Concept and Systems Analysts View ofInformation System Failures: Results of an Exploratory Study." Information Management14(1): 45-56.Lock, D. (2007). Project management [electronic book] (9th ed.) Dennis Lock, Aldershot,England: Gower Publishing Ltd.Maylor, H. (2010). Project Management (4th ed.), Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall.Marabese, M. R. and Roiter, A. (2007) "Analysis of Expectations for Continuous Improvementof e-Government Services Provided by Public Administration." Master of Science Dissertation,Politecnico di Milano. 13
  • 15. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12Marques, G.,Gourc, D. et al. (2011). "Multi-Criteria Performance Analysis for DecisionMaking in Project Management." International Journal of Project Management 29(8): 1057-1069.Meredith, J. R. (2009). Project Management: a Managerial Approach (7th ed.), Hoboken,N.J.: Wiley.Pan, G. (2005). "Information Systems Project Abandonment: a Stakeholder Analysis."International Journal of Information Management 25(2): 173-184.PMI (2008). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK guide) (4thed.), Newtown Square, Pa.: Project Management Institute.Ogu, V. (2000). "Stakeholders’ Partnership Approach to Infrastructure Provision andManagement in Developing World Cities: Lessons from the Sustainable Ibadan project."Habitat International 24(4): 517-533.Rowley, J. (2011). "e-Government Stakeholders—Who Are They and What Do TheyWant?" International Journal of Information Management 31: 53-62.Sarantis, D., Charalabidis,Y. et al. (2011). "A Goal-Driven Management Framework forElectronic Government Transformation Projects Implementation." Government InformationQuarterly 28(1): 117-128.Sarikas,O. and Weerakkody, V. (2007) "Realising Integrated e-Government Services: a UKLocal Government Perspective", Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy 1(2) :153-173.Scholes, K. and Johnson, G. (2001) Exploring Public Sector Strategy. Harlow: FinancialTimes/Prentice Hall. 14
  • 16. BAPA 105 – PROJECT MANAGEMENT – 2011/12Stephen, W. (2008). "Stakeholders in Excellence in Teaching and Learning of ProjectManagement." International Journal of Project Management 26(3): 326-328.Stieb, J. A. (2009). "Assessing Freemans Stakeholder Theory." Journal of Business Ethics87(3): 401-414.Toor, S. U. R. and Ogunlana, S. O. (2010). "Beyond the ‘Iron Triangle’: StakeholderPerception of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Large-Scale Public Sector DevelopmentProjects." International Journal of Project Management 28(3): 228-236.Wearne, S. (2008). "Stakeholders in Excellence in Teaching and Learning of ProjectManagement." International Journal of Project Management, 26(3): 326–328.Wilson, F. , Van Engers, T. and Peters, R. (2007).Training eGovernment Actors: Experienceand Future Needs[online resource].European Journal of ePractice. Available at:<http://www.epractice.eu/files/1.3.pdf> [Accessed 6 March 2012]. 15

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