Can we import the high‐performance team theory developed in the private sector into the public sector in order to improve the success rates of information technology (IT) projects? This article proposes that public organizations can create effective workgroups (weaker than the private sector’s high‐performance teams but stronger than the weak committees that typically manage public IT projects) in order to improve the chances of concluding IT projects successfully. Two remarkably similar Internet projects in Israel’s Ministry of Trade and Commerce and the Jerusalem Municipality are described, compared, and analyzed. The first adopted the workgroup project model and was concluded successfully. The second adopted the committee project model and ran into problems and delays. Lessons are gleaned from these case studies on how to staff, structure, and supervise public IT workgroups.
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