Abstract for: Effects of relationships in the dynamics of information technology projects

Information Technology projects face challenges such as rework, scope changes or knowledge deficit, leading to the low success rates reported in the industry. Previous research demonstrated the importance of introducing rework or scope increases, labor control policies and project labor controls on the success of projects. However, the impacts of relationships between the service provider and client on the available management decisions have not been fully investigated, especially for IT Services, where intense client participation is identified as significant for project success. The current work uses a simulation model where relationships are relevant to investigate its impact on management decisions and consequently on project results. The present research has two contributions to the existing body of knowledge. First, it adds the structure and resulting dynamics of relationships into the traditional approach to project management. Second, it shows how important it is to manage the relationship between the service provider and the client to improve project results. Our work demonstrates that relationships have a significant impact both on the decision making and on the evaluating processes with profound consequences on project results. Implications for practice and future research opportunities are discussed, and several recommendations are made for both managers and researchers.