Project failure en masse: a study of loose budgetary control in ISD projects
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Conboy, K. Project failure en masse: a study of loose budgetary control in ISD projects. Eur J Inf Syst, 19(3), 273-287
This paper investigates the tightness of budgetary control over projects in a large systems development multinational. This represents a case of extreme information systems development (ISD) failure en masse, where all but two of the 22 projects in a business unit went over budget, causing senior executives to refocus their strategic priorities and cancel all current and potential projects that followed. This study focuses specifically on the two best performing (12 and 4% under budget) and worst performing (223 and 320% over budget) of these projects. Using a framework drawn from control systems theory, this study examines the ¿tightness¿ of budgetary control exerted over each project, and what was done or could have been done to avert such failure. The study then identifies a set of emerging factors affecting tight budgetary control in ISD.