Partial Abandonment as an Exit Strategy for Troubled IT Projects: Lessons from a Small-and-Medium Enterprise
Journal of Enterprise Information Management, (21:6), 2008, pp. 559-570
Posted: 21 Apr 2013
Date Written: October 20, 2008
Despite increasing awareness of IT project failures, many organizations continue to experience failures with more IT projects abandoned due to various causes. In this paper, we argue that separating the partial abandonment phenomenon from the overall concept of IT project abandonment may represent the key to understand how to avoid project failures. Acknowledging the complex and multi-faceted issues that involve various stakeholders that cause IT projects to fail, the stakeholder literature provides a promising theoretical base for explaining why IT projects are partially abandoned. A case study of a partially abandoned electronic procurement system project is discussed and analyzed within a small-and-medium enterprise setting. To help learning from project experiences, this paper proposes a stakeholder assessment framework of partial abandonment to examine stakeholders’ roles and role conflicts in influencing organizational decisions to partially abandon troubled IT projects. The framework will help both researchers and practitioners to shed light on stakeholder related issues of partial abandonment, as it offers the flexibility to accommodate understanding of various causes that may have contributed to the partial abandonment decision.
Keywords: Partial abandonment, IS project abandonment, troubled IT projects and stakeholder perspective, small and medium enterprises
JEL Classification: M40
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