"What is the Influence of Communication Quality Between the Business and IT Project Team on ERP Implementation Project Success?"
Communication between the information systems (IS) specialist and the user has long been recognised in the IS literature as an important aspect of successful information system development projects. Since the 1970s IS researchers have studied the role of communication in the system development process and its influence on project/system success. Communication has been studied as a broad concept as well as in regard to specific aspects such as communication frequency, quantity, and the fit between the communication medium and the task. Yet, quality has been neglected. Therefore, this study presents the concept of "communication quality". The study investigated the influence of communication quality on project success in an Enterprise Resource Planning system implementation at a large North-American manufacturing company. ERP project implementation success was assessed by a multidimensional framework including multiple stakeholder perspectives. The study used supplementary secondary analysis of 54 interviews with project stakeholders from the IT project team and the business side of this organisation. The current study found support for the individual attributes of communication quality, namely completeness, credibility, accuracy, purpose adequacy, timeliness, openness, audience adequacy, bidirectionality, and a balance of formality vs. informality. The study found indications that a lack of communication quality might impact ERP implementation project success negatively whereas better communication quality might foster success. The ERP project at the organisation was successful in terms of traditional project success measures such as "on time" and "within budget". However, communication quality seemed to have a negative correlation to the quality of the relationship between the project team and the business as well as user satisfaction. System acceptance and use appeared to have been facilitated by better communication quality. The study enriches the IS literature by increasing the understanding of communication aspects during ERP implementation projects. It is also one of the first studies to introduce the new research method of secondary analysis of qualitative data from sociology into the IS field. Practitioners can apply the findings of this study to facilitate ERP implementation project success on a more holistic level addressing also user satisfaction and the quality of the relationship between the IT project team and the rest of the business.