Lunchtime Seminar - An Exploration into IT Programme Management: Insights from Multiple Case Study Research
Speaker: Dr. Alexander Teubner
Abstract: The use of IT to drive organizational changes has gained momentum in both profit and non-profit organizations. It is currently culminating in the discussion on Digital Transformation, which assumes that the ability to manage IT-enabled change is key to survival for organizations in the Digital Age. While researchers are just beginning to study this new phenomenon, practitioners are urgently seeking for guidance on how to manage such change and transformation. Professional bodies such as the PMI and OGC have addressed the practitioners’ needs with an approach called Programme Management (PgM). These bodies have issued best practice standards for PgM that they claim to be customizable to different kinds of initiatives and situations. However, we know little about their application to IT-based change initiatives as academic research on PgM is sparse. Taking this as a motivation, we conducted a comparative analysis of five IT-based change initiatives that were managed as programmes. We studied the specific characteristics of these “IT programmes”, the PgM challenges involved, and the measures taken to deal with them. Our findings suggest that IT programmes are distinct from both, other technology-heavy programmes and from organizational change programmes without a technical core. Hence, in order to characterize IT programmes more precisely, we compiled a set of common IT programme characteristics from our five cases. We also identified a set of typical issues in managing IT programmes as well as measures that can be taken to deal with them. These issues include a lack of architectural overview, scope creeps and changes, conflicting interests of stakeholders and other groups involved, diverse professional and cultural backgrounds as well as ill-defined PgM responsibilities and missing competencies.
Short Bio: Alexander Teubner is Akademischer Oberrat at the Department for Information Systems of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster in Germany. He heads the Research Group on Strategic Information Management (RG SIM) at the headquarters of the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) in Münster. One focus of his research is on the concept and contents of IT/IS strategies, on IT/IS strategy development as well as on strategy implementation including the management of IT/IS investment, portfolios, and programmes. He furthermore conducts research on the future IT/IS function in the digital age with an emphasis on sourcing, organizational design, and governance. He has published his research in renowned academic journals such as MIS Quarterly, the Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Information Systems Frontiers, or Business Information Systems Engineering. His publications also include contributions to international conferences, textbook chapters, monographs, and papers in applied journals.