Purpose – Project management literature contains an evolving body of research addressing critical success factors. The majority of these studies have focused on projects completed within private sector organizations or, in a few cases, a mix of public and private sector organizations. Given the distinct qualitative differences that exist between private and public sector entities, it would be naive to blindly apply the lessons learned from prior studies to public sector information technology (IT) project management. This paper seeks to investigate public sector information system critical success factors. Design/methodology/approach – Using a survey research methodology and the project implementation profile, this study empirically tests the critical success factors proposed and confirmed in the existing management literature as important to information system project implementation success within the context of public sector IT projects. Findings – This research effort strongly suggests that significant differences exist between private and public sector IT projects with respect to critical success factors. Specifically, the application of critical success factors to project management within the unique public sector environment appears to be a reasonable course of action; however, the order of importance or dominance of each factor differs from that reported in prior research focusing on private sector efforts. Originality/value – The findings of this study will serve as a useful and practical guide for both experienced and new state government information project managers as they seek to understand the key steps and processes that must be addressed throughout the life cycle of an IT implementation project.
Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 21, 2008
Keywords: Critical success factors; Communication technologies; Project management; Public sector organizations