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A Benefits Management Approach to Reduce the Risk of IT Project Failures

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The probability of IT project failures can be mitigated more successfully when discovered early. To support this, transparency regarding a project’s cash flows is necessary. Therefore, a monetary analysis and calculation of a project’s costs, benefits, risks and interdependencies is inevitable to enable comparability, not only of different projects but also of one project´s progress at different points throughout its development. Until today, however, a method that appropriately considers costs, benefits, risks and interdependencies when estimating the project business case does not yet exist. Hence, we developed an approach to benefits management collaboratively in an Action Design Research setting. We gathered feedback from business practice (McKinsey & Co. and Hilti Corp.) regarding efficacy and applicability of the method while at the same time upholding scientific rigor. To enable an early detection of IT project failures, this method can be integrated into a project management cycle. In this context, we define key figures for performance measurement and project steering, providing data if the project’s future prospects indicate a continuation, demand for action, or even an early termination of the project. This approach to benefits management supports reducing the probability of IT project failures.

This talk is part of the DIAL seminars series.

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