The purpose of this paper is to determine how the soft competencies of an information technology (IT) project manager, specifically optimism and stress, can affect project success.
The research was exploratory. Experienced IT project managers were requested to relate a “structured” story regarding a significant, personal experience relating to optimism or stress and how this affected the project outcome. In total, eight stories were captured on the optimism theme and five on stress. Themes from these stories were identified.
Qualitative analysis of the stories identified several project managers' optimism themes that strongly influenced IT project success. In addition, it was concluded that IT project success was both positively and negatively influenced by stress. To improve their chances of project success, it was concluded that IT project managers should have a positive but realistic degree of optimism based on a well‐accepted project plan. Whilst the project team should expect and embrace stress during the project, this should be carefully managed.
Six important project management practical activities were deduced from the analysis which could assist project managers and their teams to better handle optimism and stress. These activities, when applied effectively, could lead to improved project outcomes.
Smith, D., Bruyns, M. and Evans, S. (2011), "A project manager's optimism and stress management and IT project success", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 10-27. https://doi.org/10.1108/17538371111096863Download as .RIS
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