The primary driver for this research was the continuing high failure rate of
investments in IS/IT which has stayed at around 70-80% for over 30
years. The aim of this research was to 'explore the extent to which
organisations have adopted benefits driven practices when undertaking
investments in IS/IT.
An initial phase of the research was primarily based on detailed
documentation on 25 projects taken from the knowledge management
database of an IS/IT consultancy. A second phase comprised in-depth case
studies at three organisations. This phase explored the practices adopted
on three or four projects at each organisation and importantly the wider
organisational context in which the projects took place.
An important contribution from this research has been the development of
a framework of competences and practices for the realisation of benefits
from investments in IS/IT. The empirical elements of the study then go
well beyond recent survey-based research, by providing in-depth insights
into the practice of benefits realisation, across a variety of organisations.
The empirical study showed that benefits-related practices are very rarely
adopted. The research has also provided evidence of the value of the
practices 'lens', which is shown to provide a valuable way to operationalise
competences, as it fits very well with how people think and work. The
thesis provides some concrete suggestions as to how the practice of
benefits realisation might best be improved.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.