Achieving strategic benefits from business IT projects: The critical importance of using the business case across the entire project lifetime

Frank Einhorn, Carl Marnewick, Jack Meredith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Business projects with an information technology component are referred to here as ‘business IT’ projects. Their success rate is found to be unsatisfactory, resulting in wasteful expenditure running to billions of dollars annually. Literature indicates that sound business cases, used effectively throughout the project lifetime, underpin governance and have a major positive impact on the project success rate. However, it also suggests that business case processes are seldom used properly. The goal of this study is to determine the extent to which business case processes are used in practice, and to understand the implications of the pattern that emerges. The data analysis from a survey reveals that business case usage diminishes significantly after approval is given to proceed, with potentially serious negative consequences. The findings offer initial building blocks for project business case theory; they also give valuable insights to management as to the required processes and how to avoid the prevailing pitfalls and achieve the intended strategic project benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)989-1002
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Volume37
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Business case
  • Information technology
  • Process group
  • Project governance
  • Project lifetime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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