Doing IT project alignment : Adapting the Delta model using design science

Abstract: Despite the perceived importance of IT, a majority of IT projects fail to deliver what was actually ordered (!). One main reason for failure is IT project management’s inability to adapt and react to a dynamic and changing project environment, instead, projects are run as if it is possible to predict all project variables before project start.In reality, IT project workers live in a dynamic, political and commercial environment where it is difficult to predict and control the future. IT projects needs to be continually aligned with their environment to stay relevant and deliver utility.Through a design science and action research approach, a model supporting IT project managers with IT project alignment is created and tested. The model is called DELTA and is designed to be easy to understand and use for IT project managers; it builds on a simplification of commonly available approaches in order to facilitate communication the different domains of expertise in IT projects. DELTA builds on four main constituents: Enterprise images, Stakeholders, Goals and Project. Guidelines for using the model is also presented.Experiences from using the model indicates that the model is perceived as a useful complement to regular project management methods, specifically by merging different conceptual perceptions into a common view. Furthermore, results highlight the conflict between IT project alignment and the traditional project model. Finally, the results show the difference between IT project issues and underlying causes for these issues.

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