Dealing with unpredictable risk - The influence of external factors on information systems development and implementations
Organisations and especially Government departments develop information systems for their own specific needs, due to this Government departments invests a great deal in information systems development and implementation projects. The intention is to save on cost and develop information systems according to their needs and requirements. Unfortunately such projects are vulnerable and subject to a range of risks. This case study identifies the risk factors involved in information systems development and implementation projects and the risk processes that are in place to mitigate against those risk factors. Furthermore the case study investigates an information systems development and implementation project where four legacy systems were to be merged into one newly developed system. The project was interrupted when an organisational merger resulted in the loss of key members of the governance board and the project team, either through redundancy or being allocated other responsibilities within the organisation. This exposed the project to unpredictable risk which caused the project to head down the path of possible failure. The case study outlines the project plan, what actually happened and what according to the interviewed participants happened during the project. It is clear that the risk management processes wasn't followed and that wrongful decisions were made during the organisational merger. Unpredictable risks as a result of the merger and the decision to continue the project required a strong governance board, proper project management, proper risk management and the execution of the risk management processes. The lack of governance and project management had a huge impact on the project while the loss of expertise and knowledge added to the risk profile which resulted in further complications to the project. It’s during these situation that a strong governance board and proper project management is needed to make those critical decisions and steer the project towards success.