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From “Technical Newbies” to “Optimistic Politicians”: Different factors affecting initial scheduling of IT projects

James Prater (School of Natural Built Environments, University of South Australia , Adelaide, Australia)
Konstantinos Kirytopoulos (School of Natural Built Environments, University of South Australia , Adelaide, Australia) (School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens , Athens, Greece)
Tony Ma (School of Natural Built Environments, University of South Australia , Adelaide, Australia)

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

ISSN: 1753-8378

Article publication date: 24 September 2019

Issue publication date: 15 February 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

Despite the advent of sophisticated control methods, there are still significant issues regarding late delivery of information technology projects. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the common causes of scheduling problems specifically in the information technology projects context.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a quantitative research, the importance of those causes, as well as the underpinning factors driving them, is explored. The causes are ranked according to their relative important index, and exploratory factor analysis is employed to reveal underlying dimensions (factors) of these causes.

Findings

From the analysis, four factors were extracted, namely, “Dataless Newbie,” “Technical Newbie,” “Pragmatic Futurist” and “Optimistic Politician.” These factors explain the different latent conditions that lead to scheduling problems in information technology projects.

Practical implications

The key contribution of this research is that it enlightens the latent conditions underpinning scheduling problems. Also, the evidence provides that schedule development for information technology projects is impacted by the same causes that impact engineering projects, and that applying a number of mitigation techniques widely used within the engineering area, such as reference class, would, no doubt, not only improve information technology schedules but also reduce the political pressures on the project manager.

Originality/value

This research provides a valuable insight into understanding the underlying factors for poor project estimation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper presents outcomes of research included in the PhD Thesis of Mr James Prater conducted at the University of South Australia. This research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship (Domestic Fee Offset). The authors would also like to express our gratitude to the Editor and the anonymous reviewers for both their time and the valuable comments provided that helped significantly the improvement of this paper.

Citation

Prater, J., Kirytopoulos, K. and Ma, T. (2021), "From “Technical Newbies” to “Optimistic Politicians”: Different factors affecting initial scheduling of IT projects", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 329-344. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-01-2019-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited