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Pulling the plug: Software project management and the problem of project escalation - Essay Example

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Loosely defined as an occasion where IT projects “take a life of its own” causing it to get “out of control”, Keil argues that in order to address and prevent its occurrence, there is a need to look beyond the traditional perspective of project management that views escalation simply as a result of poor project management practices. …
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Pulling the plug: Software project management and the problem of project escalation
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Pulling the plug: Software project management and the problem of project escalation

Using Straw and Ross’s typology, Keil (2005) identifies four factors that promote escalation. These are project factors, referring to the objective features of the project; psychological factors that affect a project manager’s personal decision-making; social factors, which make up the decision-making environment surrounding a project; and organizational factors that constitutes the structural and political environment of a project. As Keil (2005) suggested in his article, there are four factors that contribute to escalation, namely: project factors, psychological factors, social factors, and organizational factors. In this respect, effectively addressing escalation must therefore centre on addressing these factors. First, it is important to complete a comprehensive cost-benefit and risk analysis at the initial planning stage in order to give project managers sufficient information with regard to decisions regarding the IT project. This will be able to address the objective factors that are caused by poor judgment on the scale of a project. Second, it is also important for the project team, preferably with the help of a professional not within the team, to establish protocols and standards to serve as indicators that will signal when a project must be abandoned, and when it is still salvageable. A separate quality analyst must also be employed to monitor these indicators and compare it with the project team’s progress. ... Read More
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