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Project Termination from a Benefit Realisation Management Approach: An abductive study of IT and R&D projects
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Bad or failing projects drain organisational resources in vain, affect team morale,and are a detriment to corporate strategy. Theimportance of terminating a project that will not deliver as promised canhardly be overemphasized, however it is still a major managerial challenge. Throughout this papera call is made toidentify andterminate failing projectsvia a benefit realisation management process, as successful projectsare only those thatdeliver the expected benefits. Thus, the research question to answer is:How can benefit realisation management aid in deciding when to terminate a project?The purpose of this study is to understand project termination and its relationship with benefits realisation management in the case of IT and R&D projects. This is done by tacking a critical realist view in an abductive process that goes back and forth between the merge of existing theories and data collected, which will result in a conceptual model that integrates project termination decision making into a benefit realisation management process. In this research project termination is defined as: the cancellation and cessation of a project prior the completion of its intended activities; while benefit realisation management is conceived as: a set of processes that ensure projects, programmes, and portfolios delivervalue via verifying they are realising their intended goals and benefits.From the literature, the projects analysed and the model drawn, it was understood that benefit realisation management has to be conceived as a monitoring and evaluation process on the project performance in relation to its intended benefit. The howto do so, is our model: a total of 8 steps that go from the conception of the business strategy to the post mortem evaluation of a project. Each step includes different essential activities that hypothetically lead to the correct decision. This, requires active participation and communication from the primary stakeholders, focus on the organisational strategy and the reason why the project was started in addition to a well-defined goal with a clear way of measurement. The when is approached as the moment in time where the termination decision making process should start. A stimulus, a difference between the expected standard and the project performance trend, is what triggers the recognition that a termination decision might be needed and therefore starts the whole decision-making process. Hence, it is recommended to pay special attention to three moments in the project life that might give a clearer indication: 1) the completion and approval of the business-case, as most errors can already be spotted at this point, 2) the testing phase of the solution, being often the point where success is easier to predict and 3) on the submission of the deliverables, as their quality reflect the quality of the future product.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 109
Keywords [en]
project termination, benefits realisation management, IT project, R&D project, decision making
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-145908OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-145908DiVA, id: diva2:1192047
Presentation
2018-01-08, Umeå, 08:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-03-21 Created: 2018-03-21 Last updated: 2018-03-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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