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Project Dynamics: Review of the Value of SystemsAnalysis Methodologies in Improving InformationTechnology Project ManagementOkechi Geoffrey Egekwu1[Timothy C. Delobe2]Abstract– Project failures in the Information Technology (IT) sector are well documented in the literature;project managers miss their target budgets and schedules more than twice as often as they meet them. Traditionalproject management methodologies initially developed for the large-scale engineering projects of the 1950’s, whilestill relevant and useful, are reductionist in nature and are therefore missing a systems approach that concentrates onknowledge creation before, during and after a project. This paper highlights the role of system dynamics and otheranalysis tools in augmenting a project’s control processes, as well as the skill set used by the project manager.Research from a wide variety of projects within the information technology sector and others, will be synthesized,some using system dynamics methodologies, and will serve as the basis to comparatively analyze the value added bythese novel project management approaches. Understanding the project dynamics will illustrate the complexinteractions and feedback structures inherent in all projects, as well as seek to educate project managers on how tohandle cause-effect relationships through the phases of a project. Furthermore, the research will illustrateproblematic project dynamics, using various conceptual models, and suggest the need to integrate system analysismethodologies for project management into traditional project management processes and bodies of knowledgeinstead of solely relyingon them as a post-mortem tool for project analysis..Keywords:Project Failures, Project Dynamics, Systems Analysis, Information TechnologyTHE PROBLEMCurrent State of Project PerformanceContemporary business processes are more complex than in decades past and resemble structures with moreinterrelationships and interdependencies. It is becoming clear that the conventional (i.e. reductionist) projectmanagement methods are inadequate for handling this new era of complexity. The Project Management Instituterecognizes this trend and research is currently underway by PMI, as well as others in academia, to learn how best tomanage complex projects [1]. Management styles and organizational structures are also following this trend towardscomplexity. Historically, managers subscribed to a Newtonian philosophy of management resembling a machinemodel predicated on linear thinking, control theory and predictability; this model is proving very difficult to tenderin the new era of complexity [2, 3]. Some executives are even rejecting traditional organizational structures in favorof more complex models, like the matrix organization, or another type thatHaas [1] refers to as “alliances,” wherebyan organization creates an organizational structure comprised of complex interrelationships between suppliers,partners, regulatory entities, customers and sometimes even competitors. Out of the complex organizations, complexprojects are born.

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Term
Summer
Professor
Roshan
Tags
Project Management, project manager

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