Proposed risk treatment strategies for Information and Communication Technology projects
Magwede, Keneilwe Nicollette
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The high failure rate of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects has been documented in the literature. Most ICT project failures can be avoided if risks are identified and managed before they negatively impact the project. The challenge for ICT project managers is to identify critical risk factors that they consider to be commonly affecting ICT projects in their organisation and define appropriate strategies that can be used to minimise the probability and impact of the project risks. Various researchers have tried to address this problem by investigating common ICT project risk factors and proposing lists of top ICT project risks. There are now many of these lists in the literature, but project managers do not know which list to use as the lists were compiled at different periods of time, by people from different backgrounds using different research methods. This study aims to compile a list of top ten ICT project risk factors affecting one South African organisation and to propose risk treatment strategies that can be used to manage the top ten ICT project risk factors. To achieve the objectives of this research, a literature review was done to formulate the research questions and to broaden the researcher’s knowledge of ICT project management and ICT project risk management. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to gather rich qualitative data on the participants’ experiences and perceptions regarding common ICT projects risk factors. During the interviews, participants were asked to define the term ‘risk’ and to identify risk factors that they consider to be commonly affecting ICT projects in the organisation. Due to the subjective nature of this study, interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was employed as a data analysis approach. This approach is founded in phenomenology design and was a feasible option to choose because it seeks the opinions and subjective accounts and interpretations of participants. Interview transcripts were qualitatively analysed through a process of familiarisation with the text, identification and clustering of themes. Ten main themes emerged which resembled the top ten ICT project risk factors that participants considered to be commonly affecting ICT projects in their organisation. Based on the literature review and the researcher’s experience, risk treatment strategies that can be used to manage the top ten ICT projects risk factors were proposed.
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