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An Investigation of the Process and Characteristics used by Project Managers in IT Consulting in the Selection of Project Management Software Eike Meyer A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Edinburgh Napier University, for the award of Doctor of Business Administration June 2018
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  • AnInvestigationoftheProcessandCharacteristicsusedbyProjectManagersinIT

    ConsultingintheSelectionofProjectManagementSoftware

    EikeMeyer

    AthesissubmittedinpartialfulfilmentoftherequirementsofEdinburgh

    NapierUniversity,fortheawardofDoctorofBusinessAdministration

    June2018

  • i

    Declaration

    IdeclarethatthisDoctorateofBusinessAdministrationthesis ismyown

    work and that all sources literary and electronic have been properly

    acknowledgedasandwhentheyoccurinthebodyofthetext.

    EikeMeyer

    Date:25thOctober2017

  • ii

    Acknowledgements

    TheacademicjourneyIembarkedonthroughmyparticipationoftheDBAprogramme

    would not have come to a conclusion, would it not have been for the support of

    supervisors, colleagues, friends and family. First and foremost, I want to thank my

    supervisor at Edinburgh Napier University Dr. Janice McMillan for her advice and

    feedback.Equally,IthankProf.ChristianGreinerfromtheMunichUniversityofApplied

    Sciences, for thehelpfuldiscussions. Iwouldalso like toexpressmygratitude tomy

    managersinIBM,whoallowedmetogoonthisacademicadventure:FrankReich,Dr.

    BorisPasternakandStefanThamm.

    TheDBAprogramwouldnothavebeenthesamewithoutmycohort:DavidKlotz,Fay

    Townsend-Jackson,NicoFörster,NorriMoane,PaulineGordon,Dr.StefanButtschardt,

    TimPreinlandTobiasKnuth.Ourdiscussionshaveinspiredandmotivatedmetokeep

    going.Onafinalandmostimportantnote,Iwouldliketothankmywife.Withoutyour

    patience,adviceandongoingsupport,thiswouldnothavebeenpossible.

  • iii

    Abstract

    As projectmanagement (PM) and information technology (IT) evolved over the last

    decades, an increasing number of project management software products have

    emerged.ProjectmanagersinITconsultingcanimprovethesuccessofprojectsthrough

    theutilizationof such software.However, thediversity of software available cannot

    sensiblybegraspedbyasingleindividual.

    Basedonthiscontext,thestudyaimstoexaminethekeyconsiderationsintheselection

    of project management software in IT consulting from the project managers’

    perspective.AliteraturereviewidentifieskeyaspectsofITconsultingprojectsthatmay

    berelevanttothesoftwareselection.Noevidencewasfoundthatprovidedaviewon

    theprocessoftheselectionofPMsoftwareinITconsultingitself.Thereviewalsounveils

    thelackofcommonterminologyinregardtoPMsoftware.

    Thestudyaddresses thesegapsbyutilizing interpretativephenomenologicalanalysis

    (IPA)tounderstandtheexperiencesmadebyprojectmanagers.Togatherdata,17semi-

    structured interviewswere conductedwith experiencedprojectmanagers. Thematic

    analysiswas used to develop an understanding of the process employed by project

    managersinthesoftwareselectionandtheconsiderationstheymakealongtheway.

    Thefindingsweresynthesizedtocreateaprocessguide,supportedbyachecklistand

    theworkingdefinitionofkeyterminology.

    This study adds a broader perspective to the field of PM software through the

    applicationofqualitativemethodologyinanotherwisequantitativelydominatedfield

  • iv

    ofresearch.Itaddressesthelackofexistingknowledgeontheperspectiveoftheproject

    managerintheselectionprocessthroughthegenerationofa6-stagedprocessguide.

    The detailed considerations of project managers were compiled into a checklist of

    selection criteria. These two also contribute to practice by providing a structured

    approachtoPMselectionforpractitioners.Thethirdoutputisaworkingdefinitionof

    project management software as used in practice, which simplifies an exchange of

    knowledgebetweentheoryandpractice.

  • v

    SummaryofContents

    Declaration.................................................................................................................i

    Acknowledgements...................................................................................................ii

    Abstract...................................................................................................................iii

    SummaryofContents................................................................................................v

    TableofContents.....................................................................................................vi

    IndexofFigures.......................................................................................................xii

    IndexofTables........................................................................................................xiv

    Introduction.............................................................................................1

    Chapter2: LiteratureReview.............................................................................13

    Chapter3: ResearchMethodology.....................................................................51

    Chapter4: Findings............................................................................................80

    Chapter5: Discussion.......................................................................................125

    Chapter6: Conclusion......................................................................................169

    References............................................................................................................188

    Appendix...............................................................................................................198

  • vi

    TableofContents

    Declaration.................................................................................................................i

    Acknowledgements...................................................................................................ii

    Abstract...................................................................................................................iii

    SummaryofContents................................................................................................v

    TableofContents.....................................................................................................vi

    IndexofFigures.......................................................................................................xii

    IndexofTables........................................................................................................xiv

    Introduction.............................................................................................1

    1.1 ResearchRationale...............................................................................................1

    1.1.1 TheAuthorasaResearcher....................................................................................2

    1.1.2 ScopeoftheStudy..................................................................................................3

    1.2 AimandObjectives...............................................................................................6

    1.3 ResearchContext..................................................................................................8

    1.3.1 Methodology..........................................................................................................8

    1.3.2 StructureoftheThesis.........................................................................................10

    1.4 Summary............................................................................................................11

    Chapter2: LiteratureReview.............................................................................13

    2.1 Introduction........................................................................................................13

    2.1.1 TheLiteratureReviewProcess.............................................................................13

    2.1.2 IdentifyingrelevantLiterature..............................................................................14

    2.2 TheITConsultingSector......................................................................................15

    2.2.1 WhatisITConsulting?..........................................................................................15

  • vii

    2.2.2 HistoryofITConsulting........................................................................................16

    2.2.3 ITConsultingToday..............................................................................................17

    2.2.4 KeyIssuesandChallengesintheITConsultingSector.........................................19

    2.2.5 LocatingtheResearchProblemwithintheITConsultingSector..........................21

    2.3 TheHistoryofProjectManagement....................................................................21

    2.3.1 ProjectManagementResearch............................................................................24

    2.4 AreasofInvestigationrelatedtothisStudy.........................................................25

    2.4.1 DecisionMaking...................................................................................................27

    2.5 ProjectManagementSoftwareSelection............................................................27

    2.5.1 Terminology..........................................................................................................27

    2.5.2 WhatisProjectManagementSoftware?..............................................................29

    2.5.3 TheUsageofProjectManagementSoftware.......................................................30

    2.5.4 FunctionalitiesofProjectManagementSoftware................................................32

    2.6 ProjectSuccessandProcesses.............................................................................34

    2.6.1 SuccessFactors.....................................................................................................34

    2.6.2 Terminology:ProcessesvsPractices....................................................................35

    2.6.3 ProjectManagementProcesses...........................................................................36

    2.7 ProjectManagementinInformationTechnology................................................37

    2.7.1 TrendsinITProjectManagement........................................................................40

    2.7.2 AgileProjectManagement...................................................................................41

    2.7.3 TrustandLeadershipinAgileProjectManagement.............................................42

    2.8 ResearchQuestions.............................................................................................44

    2.8.1 ResearchQuestion1.............................................................................................46

    2.8.2 ResearchQuestion2.............................................................................................46

    2.9 Summary............................................................................................................49

    Chapter3: ResearchMethodology.....................................................................51

  • viii

    3.1 Introduction........................................................................................................51

    3.2 ResearchPhilosophy...........................................................................................53

    3.2.1 Terms&Definitions..............................................................................................53

    3.2.2 OverviewofdifferentPhilosophies......................................................................55

    3.2.3 DefiningthephilosophicalStance........................................................................56

    3.3 ResearchApproach.............................................................................................57

    3.4 ResearchDesign..................................................................................................59

    3.4.1 GroundedTheory.................................................................................................59

    Phenomenology.................................................................................................................60

    3.5 DataCollectionTechnique..................................................................................63

    3.5.1 OverviewofqualitativeMethods.........................................................................63

    3.6 Sampling.............................................................................................................66

    3.7 EthicalConsiderations.........................................................................................69

    3.8 ThePilotStudy....................................................................................................71

    3.9 ProcessofconductingtheStudy..........................................................................71

    3.9.1 BeforetheInterview.............................................................................................72

    3.9.2 DuringtheInterview.............................................................................................72

    3.9.3 Transcription.........................................................................................................73

    3.10 Analysis..............................................................................................................73

    3.10.1 ThematicAnalysis.............................................................................................74

    3.10.2 InductiveversusTheoreticalThematicAnalysis...............................................74

    3.10.3 DifferentStagesofThematicAnalysis..............................................................75

    3.11 Coding................................................................................................................76

    3.12 Summary............................................................................................................78

    Chapter4: Findings............................................................................................80

    4.1 Introduction........................................................................................................80

  • ix

    4.2 ParticipantCharacteristics..................................................................................80

    4.2.1 DemographicAttributes.......................................................................................81

    4.2.2 QualificationsandExperience..............................................................................82

    4.2.3 SeniorityofParticipants.......................................................................................84

    4.3 OverviewofFindingsCategories.........................................................................85

    4.4 Terminology........................................................................................................88

    4.5 TheSelectionProcess..........................................................................................88

    4.5.1 InvolvedRolesintheSelectionProcess................................................................89

    4.5.2 RoleoftheContract..............................................................................................96

    4.5.3 AligningProcessesandSoftware..........................................................................99

    4.5.4 GatheringAdvice................................................................................................101

    4.6 DriversintheSelectionProcess.........................................................................101

    4.6.1 Team...................................................................................................................101

    4.6.2 Processes............................................................................................................104

    4.6.3 Leadership..........................................................................................................106

    4.7 BarrierstotheSelectionProcess.......................................................................106

    4.7.1 ResistancetoSoftware.......................................................................................106

    4.7.2 EconomicLimitations..........................................................................................107

    4.7.3 TechnicalBarriers...............................................................................................109

    4.7.4 Processes............................................................................................................110

    4.7.5 DataSecurityandPrivacy...................................................................................110

    4.8 SelectionCriteria...............................................................................................112

    4.9 Functionalities..................................................................................................114

    ITConsulting.................................................................................................................116

    4.9.1 CollaborationwiththeClient..............................................................................116

    4.9.2 LimitedStandardization......................................................................................117

    4.9.3 AligningStatusReporting...................................................................................119

  • x

    4.9.4 TechnicalRestrictions.........................................................................................120

    4.9.5 WorkingwiththirdParties..................................................................................122

    4.10 TheImportanceofProjectManagementSoftwareSelection.............................123

    4.11 Summary..........................................................................................................123

    Chapter5: Discussion.......................................................................................125

    5.1 Introduction......................................................................................................125

    5.2 WhatistheWorkingDefinitionofProjectManagementSoftware?...................128

    5.2.1 Terminology........................................................................................................128

    5.2.2 TheScopeofProjectManagementSoftware.....................................................129

    5.3 TheSoftwareSelectionProcess.........................................................................130

    5.3.1 ProcessOverviewandActivities.........................................................................132

    5.3.2 TimeoftheSelection..........................................................................................132

    5.3.3 GatheringInformation........................................................................................134

    5.3.4 PreparingtheDecisionProcess..........................................................................134

    5.3.5 InformingrelevantRoles....................................................................................145

    5.3.6 TheDecision.......................................................................................................146

    5.3.7 ImplementationandRollout...............................................................................150

    5.3.8 Outcome:The6-stagedProcessGuide...............................................................153

    5.4 SelectionCriteria–KeyConsiderationsforProjectManagers............................154

    5.4.2 ChecklistofSelectionCriteria.............................................................................162

    5.5 SectorPerspective:ITConsultingandProjectManagementSoftwareSelection164

    5.5.1 WorkingwithClients..........................................................................................164

    5.5.2 ConductingITProjectswithClients....................................................................165

    5.6 Summary..........................................................................................................167

    Chapter6: Conclusion......................................................................................169

    6.1 Introduction......................................................................................................169

  • xi

    6.2 MainResults.....................................................................................................170

    6.2.1 Objectives...........................................................................................................170

    6.2.2 AnsweringtheResearchQuestions....................................................................172

    6.3 ImplicationsofthisStudy..................................................................................173

    6.3.1 ContributiontoTheory.......................................................................................173

    6.3.2 ContributiontoPractice.....................................................................................176

    6.4 Strengths&LimitationsofthisStudy................................................................178

    6.4.1 ThequalitativeApproach...................................................................................179

    6.4.2 TheAuthorasaPractitioner...............................................................................179

    6.4.3 Sector-specificApproach....................................................................................180

    6.4.4 PracticalRelevance.............................................................................................180

    6.5 RecommendationsforFutureResearch.............................................................181

    6.5.1 ResearchbasedontheLimitations.....................................................................181

    6.5.2 ProjectManagementSoftware..........................................................................183

    6.5.3 ITConsulting.......................................................................................................184

    6.6 RecommendationsforPractice.........................................................................185

    6.7 Summary..........................................................................................................186

    References............................................................................................................188

    Appendix...............................................................................................................198

    AppendixI:InterviewSchedule.....................................................................................198

    AppendixII:FormofInformedConsent.........................................................................199

    AppendixIII:NVivoProjectStructureSnapshot.............................................................200

    AppendixIV:SoftwareProducts....................................................................................201

  • xii

    IndexofFigures

    Figure1-1:OutcomesandChapters...............................................................................11

    Figure1-2:ResearchStructure.......................................................................................11

    Figure1-3:Aim&Objectives..........................................................................................12

    Figure2-1:LiteratureReviewProcess............................................................................13

    Figure2-2:TechnologyandITConsultingServices(Consultancy.uk,2017b)................16

    Figure2-3:ConsultingIndustryMarketSize(Consultancy.uk,2017a)...........................18

    Figure2-4:Top5BusinessChallengesforConsultingFirms(Frederiksen,2016)..........19

    Figure2-5:AreasofInvestigation..................................................................................26

    Figure2-6:DefinitionofToolsandSoftwarebasedonBesnerandHobbs’(2012)

    Interpretation.........................................................................................................28

    Figure2-7:Classificationsofprojectmanagementcharacteristics(Stepanek,2005)....38

    Figure2-8:Theliteraturegap.........................................................................................45

    Figure2-9:ResearchquestionsRQ1&2..........................................................................49

    Figure2-10:OverallResearchStructure........................................................................50

    Figure3-1:MethodologicalStructure............................................................................52

    Figure3-2:PhilosophicalStance.....................................................................................57

    Figure3-3:Sample,inclusion/exclusioncriteria(Robinson,2014)................................67

    Figure3-4:AdaptedmethodologicalStructure..............................................................78

    Figure4-1:ExcerptfromtheNVivoHierarchyChart......................................................86

    Figure5-1:ResearchStructure.....................................................................................125

    Figure5-2:FindingsSummary......................................................................................126

    Figure5-3:DiscussionStructure...................................................................................127

    Figure5-4:SelectionProcessElements........................................................................131

  • xiii

    Figure5-5:SelectionProcessGuideStageone............................................................133

    Figure5-6:SelectionProcessGuideStagetwo............................................................134

    Figure5-7:SelectionProcessGuideStagethree..........................................................135

    Figure5-8:SelectionProcessGuideStagefour............................................................146

    Figure5-9:SelectionProcessGuideStagefive............................................................147

    Figure5-10:6-stagedProcessGuide............................................................................151

    Figure5-11:6-stagedProcessGuideonPMSoftwareSelection.................................154

    Figure6-1:OverallResearchStructure........................................................................169

    Figure6-2:6-stagedProcessGuideonPMSoftwareSelection...................................170

    Figure6-3:ResearchResults........................................................................................187

  • xiv

    IndexofTables

    Table2-1:DefinitionsofITConsulting...........................................................................16

    Table2-2:PMsoftwarefunctionalitiesbasedonBesnerandHobbs(2012).................32

    Table2-3:SubsystemsandfunctionsbasedonPellerinetal.(2013)............................33

    Table2-4:SoftwareLifecycleProcesses;adoptedfromChadlietal.(2016).................37

    Table2-5:Listofpotentialselectioncriteria..................................................................48

    Table3-1:ResearchPhilosophies...................................................................................55

    Table3-2:DataCollectionMethods...............................................................................65

    Table3-3:Stagesofaface-to-faceInterview(Wilson,2014).........................................71

    Table3-4:StagesoftheplannedInterviews(Wilson,2014)..........................................72

    Table3-5:PhasesofthematicAnalysis(Braun&Clarke,2006).....................................76

    Table3-6:CodingTechniques........................................................................................77

    Table4-1:AgeGroups....................................................................................................81

    Table4-2:GenderDistribution.......................................................................................81

    Table4-3:Nationalities..................................................................................................81

    Table4-4:Participants’Experience................................................................................82

    Table4-5:FormalPMQualifications..............................................................................82

    Table4-6:TechnologicalFocus......................................................................................83

    Table4-7:EducationalQualifications.............................................................................83

    Table4-8:FieldofEducation..........................................................................................84

    Table4-9:Experiencewithdistributed/agile/internationalProjects.........................84

    Table4-10:SeniorityGroups..........................................................................................85

    Table4-11:DistributionamongstseniorityGroups.......................................................85

    Table4-12:FindingsCategories.....................................................................................87

  • xv

    Table4-13:Team-involvementindecision-making.......................................................92

    Table4-14:ClientInvolvement......................................................................................94

    Table4-15:InvolvedleadershipRoles1.........................................................................96

    Table4-16:ContractTypeandResponsibility................................................................99

    Table4-17:Criteria.......................................................................................................112

    Table4-18:Criteria(continued)...................................................................................113

    Table4-19:Functionality..............................................................................................114

    Table4-20:Functionality(continued)..........................................................................115

    Table5-1:OverviewofRoles.......................................................................................137

    Table5-2:InvolvedGroupsandRoles..........................................................................138

    Table5-3:FunctionalitiesfromtheLiteratureReview.................................................161

    Table5-4:CompiledListofselectionCriteria...............................................................163

    Table5-5:Sector-specificAspects................................................................................166

  • 1

    Introduction

    Theaimofthisstudy istoexaminethekeyconsiderations intheselectionofproject

    managementsoftwareinITconsultingfromtheprojectmanagers’perspectiveinorder

    to develop guidance to support practitioners in software selection and enhance the

    academicunderstandingofthisphenomenon.

    1.1 ResearchRationale

    Projectmanagementsoftwarehasbeenfoundtocontributetothesuccessofprojects.

    So,itisnosurprise,thatitisutilizedinmanyprojectstoday.Also,thereisavarietyof

    software on the market to meet this demand. With this multitude of project

    management software available and the challenges of IT projects, how can project

    managersinITconsultingselecttherightsoftwarefortheirproject?Somestudieshave

    investigated and compared features of software (Besner & Hobbs, 2012; Pellerin,

    Perrier,Guillot,&Léger,2013).Otherresearchhasreviewedtheapplicationofasingle

    product (BorštnarMirjana&Pucihar,2014;Riņģis&Bērziša,2016). Fromapractical

    standpointhowever, itmaybe sensible tonot just try to seewhataproduct canor

    cannotdo.Insteadoneshouldevaluatetheselectionfromtheperspectiveofthosethat

    want toutilize it in projects. Theprojectmanager is theperson leading theproject.

    Basedonhisroleheisalsoresponsiblefortheoverallprojectsuccess.Thus,hehasa

    key interest in the benefits derived from project management software. From an

    academicperspective,littleisknownabouttheprocessofsoftwareselectionandthe

    considerations taken throughout this process, especially in regard to the project

    managersrole.Henceinvestigatingthiskeyroles’perspectiveispartoftheaimofthis

    study.

  • 2

    ITconsultanciespredominantlydelivertheirservicesintheformofprojects.Thisisalso

    reflected in the way that consulting organizations are set up in project- and client-

    oriented structures. Thus, consultants and especially project managers in IT

    consultancieshaveoftengained richexperiencewithprojects. This experience likely

    alsoextendstoprojectmanagementsoftware.AstheintentionofaDBAistonotonly

    to contribute to theory, but also have a strong link to practice, it was a conscious

    decisiontolocatethisstudyinthesectorofITconsulting.Thisemphasizesthepractical

    focus and increases the chance of generating practically relevant results. It is also

    sensible from an academic perspective, as one should be mindful that project

    management isapplieddifferentlydependingon thesector (Besner&Hobbs,2012).

    Following this thought, the focus on a single sector promotes the chances to distil

    findingsofgreaterdepthandrelevance.LimitingtheresearchtoITconsulting,whichis

    theauthors’fieldofpractice,wouldalsoallowtoutilizeone’sownexpertiseandprovide

    easieraccesstopractitionersandthusdata.

    1.1.1 TheAuthorasaResearcher

    I have been a practitioner in IT consulting for over 9 years.During this time, I have

    workedindifferentrolesasamethodsandtoolsconsultant,projectmanagerandhead

    ofadepartmentofITconsultants.Workingasaconsultantmeansconductingproject

    workfordifferentclientorganizationsinvaryingsectors.AllprojectsIhaveseenwithin

    thistimeusedsomeformofprojectmanagementsoftware,rangingfromself-madeMS

    Excel sheets to complex integrated software stacks. I observed that the software

    productschosenwereutilizedtovaryingdegreesofsuccess.Insomeprojects,theusers

    regularly complainedabout the complexityof the software. Inothers, only very few

  • 3

    peoplewouldactuallyuseit,andagaininothers,therewouldbedifferentproductsused

    by different teams within the same project. What seemed to be the result is that

    projectswerestrugglingtobenefitfromtheprojectmanagementsoftwaretheyused.

    On the other hand, I have also come across projects whichwere successfully using

    projectmanagementsoftwarewithintheirprojectforyears.Thus,understandingwhat

    projectmanagers do to select a such software and understand their considerations

    becameacentralideaforthisresearch.Iassumethatidentifyingthedriversandbarriers

    inthisprocessandthedecisionsthatprojectmanagersmake,willlikelybenefitother

    projects.Theobservationofthisphenomenoninpracticewasthestartingpointforthis

    thesis.ThroughtheDBAprogrammeitwaspossibletoinvestigateitfromanacademic

    perspective.

    1.1.2 ScopeoftheStudy

    AstheauthorofthisstudyisaprojectmanagerwithinthefieldofITconsulting,itwas

    deemedbeneficialtolocatetheresearchinthesamefield.Thisdefinedthescopeofthis

    research,whichbecamethebasisforthetitleofthestudy:

    Title:AnInvestigationoftheProcessandCharacteristicsusedbyProjectManagersinITConsultingintheSelectionofProjectManagementSoftwareBuildingontheproblemasobservedinpractice,areviewofexistingliteratureprovided

    further insights on the phenomenon from an academic perspective. As previously

    mentioned,theprocessandcharacteristicsusedbyprojectmanagersintheselectionof

    projectmanagementsoftwareshouldbeinvestigatedinthesectorofITconsulting.The

    investigation into the literaturebroughtno such studies to light. Thus, this research

    utilizestheworksofotherauthorsonrelatedtopicstocreateanunderstandingofthe

  • 4

    academiccontextasabasisforinvestigatingthephenomenonofprojectmanagement

    softwareselectioninITconsulting.

    Turner,AnbariandBredillet (2013)mentionthe increasingstandardizationofproject

    management, which is specifically supported through the implementation of

    organizations such as the ProjectManagement Institute (PMI), UK’s Association for

    ProjectManagement (APM), theAustralian InstituteofProjectManagement (AIPM),

    andtheInternationalProjectManagementAssociation(IPMA).Theirstandardsanda

    lotofprojectmanagementliteratureavailableareoftenbusiness-orientedratherthan

    ofacademicorigin.Thismeans,thatanyclaimsmadebasedonsuchsourcesshouldbe

    reviewedcriticallyinlightofacademicresearch.

    Aninitialreviewofliteratureonprojectmanagementsoftwareshowed,thatfewstudies

    areavailable,manyofwhichareoveradecadeoldandthuslimitedintheirapplicability

    today.Thosethatexistoftendeviateintheirapproachtocentralterminology.Theterms

    ofprojectmanagementsoftware(Ali,Anbari,&Money,2008),tools(Chadlietal.,2016)

    andinformationsystems(Caniëls&Bakens,2011)werefoundtobeusedsometimes

    interchangeably and at times alsowith deviatingmeanings in the context of project

    managementsoftware.Asthereisnoconsensusintheliteratureontheterminology,it

    ledtothequestionontheviewofpractitioners. Investigatingtheterminologywould

    allow to clarify the definitions based on practical application and thus promote the

    futureinterlockbetweenacademiaandpractice.

  • 5

    While no academic literature was found on software selection in the context of IT

    consulting, there arepublicationsonprojectmanagement software and its usage.A

    central dependency that Raymond and Bergeron (2008) identified was the positive

    impactofprojectmanagementsoftwareonprojectsuccess.Accordingtothem,thisis

    however depending on the actual usage of the software. When reflecting this, it

    becomes clear that factors influencingandpromotingusageofprojectmanagement

    softwarewouldthuslikelyberelevantforthesuccessoftheproject.Thefindingsofthis

    thesispromotetheconceptofusageasakeyconsiderationalsofromprojectmanagers’

    perspective,whichwillbeelaboratedinthelaterchapters.

    Authors have investigated projectmanagement software based on its’ features and

    functionalities (Besner & Hobbs, 2012; Pellerin et al., 2013). These may also be of

    potentialrelevancetoprojectmanagersintheselectionprocess.Butaretheyactually

    keyconsiderationswhenprojectmanagersdecidewhichsoftwaretouse?Andarethey

    ofrelevanceinthecontextofITconsulting?AspreviouslymentionedthecontextofIT

    consultingalso likely influencestheselectionprocess. ITconsulting is relatedto IT in

    general, it is reasonable to also review the specifics of IT projects. Thesehavebeen

    foundtoposecertainrestrictionsonprojectmanagementanditsapplication(Stepanek,

    2005),whichinturncould influencesoftwareselection.Asnoresearchwasfoundto

    haveinvestigatedprojectmanagementinthecontextofITconsulting,thisstudytriesto

    providesomeinsightsintothisfield.Additionally,theprojectmanagers’wayofworking

    within this context in regard to the software selectionwillbeof interestandhow it

    relatestotheirperceptionsandconsiderations.

  • 6

    Theareasuncoveredthroughtheliteratureresearchareusedtoevaluatetheresearch

    aimandobjectivesandinformtheempiricalresearchprocessbydevelopingresearch

    questions. The relation of empirical findings and existing theory is also part of the

    discussionthatlaterevaluatestheoverallresearchprojectandprovidesasynthesisof

    theinformationuncovered.

    1.2 AimandObjectives

    This study was initiated based on challenges related to the selection of project

    management software by project managers in IT consulting. It aims to incur an

    understandingofthispracticalphenomenonthroughacademicresearch.Astheproject

    managersarethekeyactorswithinthisprocess,itseemssensibletofocusprimarilyon

    theirperspective.Thus,developinganunderstandingofhisorherconsiderationsseems

    tobetheappropriateaimtobeabletocreateguidancethatboth,explainsthetheory

    behindtheprocess,butalsoshowsthepracticalbenefitsofadeeperunderstanding.

    Thus,theaimofthisstudyis:

    Aim: Examine the key considerations in the selection of project managementsoftwareinITconsultingfromtheprojectmanagers’perspective.This leads to the underlying objectives, that detail the aim of this research project

    further.Theyfocusontheaspectsthattheresearchneedstocovertoachieveits’aim.

    Followingtheoutcomesasdescribedintheprevioussection,atfirstanoverviewofthe

    relevantacademicliteratureneedstobeattained.Thiswillacknowledgeandcritically

    review existingworks in relation to the aim. It will also help to shape the research

    questionsthattheempiricpartofthisstudyneedstoanswer.Thus,thefirstobjective

    willbe:

  • 7

    Objective 1: Provide an overview of the literature relevant to the field of projectmanagementsoftwareselectioninITconsulting.Secondly, there is the overarching phenomenon of project management software

    selection from the project managers’ perspective that this research wants to

    understand.Thisalsotranslatesintoanobjective,asitwillneedtotieintotheresearch

    questionsandtheresultsofthisstudy:

    Objective 2: Gain an understanding of the phenomenon of project managementsoftwareselectioninpracticefromtheperspectiveofprojectmanagers.Basedonthisframe,thefurtherdetailswerespecified.Whatisexactlyrelevantwithin

    the process? Which aspects could drive or hinder the process? And what are the

    considerationsintheseregardsfromtheperspectiveofpractitioners?Thisalsolinksto

    thecriteriathatprojectmanagersapply inpracticeandhowthispotentiallyties into

    existingfunctionalitiesofsoftwareasinvestigatedbyotherresearchers.

    Objective3: Examine thekey considerations forprojectmanagers in the softwareselectionprocess.A DBA thesis is both, a contribution to practice and knowledge. Based on the

    understandingthatisgeneratedthroughthepursuitoftheobjectivesonetothree,an

    academiccontributioncanbemade.Thus,itshouldthenbethenextconsequentialstep

    toalsoensureapracticalcontribution,whichwouldbuildontheinformationgained.

    Thus,thefinalobjectiveis:

    Objective 4: Develop guidance for project managers in IT consulting around keyconsiderationsintheselectionprocessofprojectmanagementsoftware.

  • 8

    The research questions that evolve from the objectives are developed through the

    literaturereviewinchaptertwo.Thesequestionswillthenbethebasisfortheempiric

    study,whichinturnprovidesthedataforthediscussionofthefindingsinchapterfive.

    1.3 ResearchContext

    1.3.1 Methodology

    Aspreviouslyoutlinedtheaimofthisstudyistoexaminetheconsiderationsofproject

    managers.Sincenoevidencewasfoundofauthorsinvestigatingthisphenomenonfrom

    asimilarperspective,itseemedsensibletotakeaqualitativeapproachandtrytocome

    toageneralunderstandingofwhatisoccurringinpractice.Thissectionwilloutlinethe

    keymethodological elements of this research,which is further explained in chapter

    three:methodology.

    Oneinitialconsiderationtobetakenisthatofresearchphilosophy.AccordingtoBryman

    andBell(2015),theepistemologicalviewportraystheviewonwhatcanbeconsidered

    as acceptable knowledge. This implies which methods can be acknowledged as

    reasonable.Whiletheunderlyingbeliefofthisstudyisthatscientificmeasureableand

    generalizableapproachesfromnon-socialfieldscanprovide insights intophenomena

    occurring in a social environment, they can only gain limited understanding of the

    contextoftheseastheylimitthemselvestoquantifiablymeasureabledata.Fromthis

    perspectiveonknowledge,thedecisionwasmadetoemployaqualitativeapproachto

    understand the wider perspective and underlying considerations in the software

    selectionthatcouldpotentiallygobeyondmeasurablecriteria.Thisisinlinewiththe

    philosophical approach of interpretivism (Burrell & Morgan, 1979; Williams, 2000).

  • 9

    Thus,thequalitativeapproachtakenissupportedbytheresearchphilosophythatthis

    studyfollows.

    Building on this, this research employs a qualitative research design utilizing

    interpretivistphenomenology,astheintentionofthisstudyistounderstandtheprocess

    andconsiderationsofprojectmanagersbasedontheirpracticalexperience.Thus,this

    study is utilizing information gathered from experienced project managers in an IT

    consultingorganization.Itwasdecidedtofocusonasingleorganizationtoimprovethe

    depthofdatathatcouldbeattainedduetothetrustedrelationshipamongpeers.The

    researchisconductedinlinewiththeethicalconsiderationsadvisableinsocialresearch

    (L.Smith,1992).Thedatagatheredfrompractitionerswillbeanalysedandtheemerging

    patternsthepatternswillbeclusteredintorelevantthemes.Thesearelaidoutfurther

    inthefindingschapter.

    Basedonthesefindings,theresultsofthisstudywillberefinedthroughthediscussion.

    The intention is to create a process guide, which provides an understanding of the

    phenomenonofprojectmanagementsoftwareselectionfromanacademicperspective

    and allows practitioners to utilize it to make informed decisions throughout the

    selection process. This research also aims to develop an understanding of the

    considerationsandcondensetheseintorelevantcriteria.Furthermore,theresearchwill

    look for the working definition of project management software as used by

    practitioners,tofosteracommonunderstandingofterminology.

  • 10

    1.3.2 StructureoftheThesis

    Toprovideanunderstandingofthestepstaken,anoverviewwascreatedthatrelates

    thechapterswithinthethesisstructureandtheirindividualcontributiontotheresearch.

    Thethesiscontainssixmainchapters.Thisintroductionprovidesageneraloverviewof

    theresearchproject.Itdevelopstheresearchcontextandrationaleanddevelopsthe

    aimandobjectives.Inchaptertwo,theliteratureinrelationtothisstudywillbecritically

    discussedandtheresearchquestionswillbedeveloped.Chapterthreethendefinesthe

    methodologyusedfortheempiricalresearchandgivestherationaleforthedecisions

    made. In the findings chapter, the data relevant to the aim of this researchwill be

    presented,andchapterfiveprovidesthediscussionwheretheempiricalandtheoretical

    datawillbeinterpretedandalignedtothekeyresultsofthisstudy.Theconclusionin

    chaptersixsummarizestheresearchandits’results,outlinesthelimitationsofthisstudy

    andshowstheimplicationsonpracticeandfutureresearch.

    The following summary of the outcomes at different stages of the study shows the

    progress of the research across the chapters of this research. Based on the overall

    researchidea,anaimfortheresearchwasrefined.Thisissupportedbytheobjectives

    ofthisresearch,whicharepartoftheinitialdefinitionoftheresearchproject.Theseare

    thengroundedinacademictheorythroughtheresearchquestions.Aftertheconducted

    studyandanalysis,thesearethenansweredbytheresultsofthisstudy.Therelation

    betweentheoutcomesineachchapterandoverallresearchprogressisshowninthe

    diagrambelow:

  • 11

    Figure1-1:OutcomesandChapters

    Thisstructureisusedtodevelopandsummarizetheaim,objectives,researchquestions

    andresultsthroughoutthethesistoallowatraceabilityacrosstheresearchprocess.The

    aimandobjectivescannowbeaddedtotheresearchstructureastheywerepreviously

    defined.Thisleadstothefollowingview,whichwillbecompletedoverthecourseof

    thisstudy.

    Figure1-2:ResearchStructure

    1.4 Summary

    Inpractice,projectmanagersinITconsultingoftenneedtodecidewhichPMsoftware

    shouldbeusedinaproject.Aninitialinvestigationshowedthattheprocessofproject

  • 12

    managementsoftwareselectionhasnotbeeninvestigatedthroughacademicresearch.

    Italsoshowedavariationinhowterminologywasapplied.Thissupportedtheideaof

    investigating the phenomenon of project management selection as it occurs in IT

    consulting.Thisleadtothedevelopmentoftheoverallaimandobjectives:

    Aim:Examinethekeyconsiderations in theselectionofprojectmanagementsoftwareinITconsultingfromtheprojectmanagers’perspective.Objective1:ProvideanoverviewoftheliteraturerelevanttothefieldofprojectmanagementsoftwareselectioninITconsulting.Objective2:Gainanunderstandingofthephenomenonofprojectmanagementsoftwareselectioninpracticefromtheperspectiveofprojectmanagers.Objective 3: Examine the key considerations for project managers in thesoftwareselectionprocess.Objective4:DevelopguidanceforprojectmanagersinITconsultingaroundkeyconsiderationsintheselectionprocessofprojectmanagementsoftware.

    Figure1-3:Aim&Objectives

    The next chapter describes the literature review and the information that academic

    literature contributed to the course of this study. It also gives an insight into the

    backgroundofthefieldsthatareunderlyingthisstudy.

  • 13

    Chapter2: LiteratureReview

    2.1 Introduction

    Thereisavarietyofmorethan300projectmanagementsoftwaresolutionsavailable

    (Schwalbe,2015).Asthepersonresponsiblefortheproject,projectmanagersneedto

    takethedecision,whichsoftwaretheywanttoemploy.Tounderstandthisprocess,itis

    anobjectiveofthisresearchtoexaminethekeyconsiderationsinselectionofproject

    management software in IT consulting from the projectmanagers’ perspective. This

    reviewwillaimtoshowthegapinacademicknowledge,thattheempiricalpartofthis

    studywill need to address. Additionally, the implications of recent research and its

    relevance to the study at hand are discussed. More information on how this was

    achievedwillbegiveninthenextsection,whichgivesastructureoftheliteraturereview

    process to provide an understanding of this and the subsequent sections (Starbuck,

    1999).

    2.1.1 TheLiteratureReviewProcess

    According toWebster andWatson (2002) as a first step the overall process of the

    literature review should be defined and described. This is detailed in the following

    diagram,anddiscussedinthesubsequentparagraphs.

    Figure2-1:LiteratureReviewProcess

    DefinetheLiteratureResearchProcess

    UnderstandtheContext:ITConsulting

    Sector

    UnderstandtheHistory:ProjectManage-ment

    IdentifyAreasof

    Investigation

    AnalyzeeachAreaof

    Investigation

    ConsolidateInformationrelevanttotheStudy

    SummarizeImplications

    oftheFindingsontheempirical

    Study

  • 14

    TheresearchinvestigatesaphenomenonwithinthesectorofITconsulting.Thisisakey

    aspectofthisresearchprojectasithasbeenfoundthatthesectorhasastrongimpact

    on the adoption of projectmanagement (Shenhar, 2001). Thus, an overview of the

    contextwillbegiven,asitinfluencesthedecisionsmadealongtheresearchprocess.In

    addition,itisessentialtogainanunderstandingofprojectmanagementsoftwareand

    projectmanagement.Thisgeneralunderstandingisattainedthroughaninvestigation

    intothebackgroundandhistoryofprojectmanagement.Suchanapproachalsohelps

    togaininsightintotherecentdevelopmentswithinhisfieldofstudy.

    Basedon the areas of investigation thatwere identified, theworks and concepts of

    authorswithin each areawere critically analysed in regard to their relevance to the

    currentstudy.Theseconceptswereconsolidatedtorefinethescopeofthisresearch

    andlaterbeabletolinktheempiricaldatatotheexistingtheory.

    2.1.2 IdentifyingrelevantLiterature

    To identify relevant areas, the author first sought and categorized topics found in

    practice.FollowingthesuggestionsofMcCambridge,McAlaneyandRowe(2011) the

    nextstepwastoidentifytheirrelevanceinacademicliteraturethroughasearchusing

    keysearchterms,followedbyforwardandbackwardsearchesusingbibliographiesand

    citationindices.Throughthisinvestigation,connectedelementsandaspectsrelatedto

    thisstudyemerged,whichtheninformedfuturesearchcycles.Thisapproachisaligned

    withtherecommendationsproposedbyauthorssuchasWebster&Watson(2002)and

    Levy&Ellis(2006)andtheiremphasisontheiterativenatureofaliteraturereview.The

    startingpointsforthesesearcheswerebothacademicjournalssuchastheInternational

  • 15

    Journal of ProjectManagement and library databases such as the Napier university

    librarysearchortheABI/INFORMdatabase.Thenextsectionswilldiscussthekeytopics

    foundinrelationtothisresearchstartingwithanoutlineofthesectorofITconsulting.

    2.2 TheITConsultingSector

    2.2.1 WhatisITConsulting?

    The definitions of IT consulting commonly found among the literature can be

    categorized into two types.One is presentedbyDjavanshir andAgresti (2007),who

    describetheITconsultants’roleasworkinginareassuchasideageneration,designand

    project management support in IT. It is aligned with the view from Gartner (2013)

    definingITconsultingservicesasadvisoryservicesfocusedonhelpingclientswiththe

    assessment and alignment of technology strategies. This definition emphasizes the

    advisoryaspectsoftherolewithoutinvolvementinthetechnicaldeliveryofprojects.

    Thisapproachiscontrastedbyasecondone,whichshowsaperspectivegoingbeyond

    advisory activities. As Joshi, Kuhn, & Niederman (2010) point out, IT consulting

    encompasses providing services across the entire scope ofmanagerial and IT tasks,

    coveringalsotheimplementationofnewITsystemsandapplicationsandtheprocesses

    supported by them. Thus it often expands to systems development and integration

    (Reineke,2007)orbuilding,managingandoperatingandmaintaininginformation(M.

    Boehm,Stolze,Breitschwerdt,Zarvic,&Thomas,2011;Valacich,Schneider,&Jessup,

    2012).Whenlookingattheseservices,exampleswouldbesecurity,dataanalysisand

    systemsintegrationwhicharepresentedaskeyserviceswithinthefieldofITconsulting

    (Consultancy.uk,2017b).Thisisvisualizedinthefigure2-2below.

  • 16

    Figure2-2:TechnologyandITConsultingServices(Consultancy.uk,2017b)

    The range of these definitions from mainly advisory to strongly delivery oriented

    demonstratethatthereisnounanimouspositioninacademia.Thismaybeduetothe

    limitedamountofacademicliteratureonconsultinginthefieldofIT.Thefollowingtable

    summarizesthesedistinctlydifferentdefinitions:

    ScopeofITConsulting AuthorsAdvisoryservicesfocusedonITstrategy Djavanshir&Agresti(2007)

    Gartner(2013)Advisory,implementationandoperationsservicesacrossallITactivities

    Boehmetal.(2011)Joshi,Kuhn,&Niederman(2010)Reineke(2007)Valacich,Schneider,&Jessup(2012)

    Table2-1:DefinitionsofITConsulting

    Withoutfurtherinquiry,alltheaforementionedfieldscouldbedeemedrelevanttothe

    roleoftheprojectmanagerinITconsulting.Inrelationtothisstudy,abroaderdefinition

    willsupporttheexplorativenatureofthisresearch.Thus,ITconsultingwillbeassumed

    toencompassadvisory,implementationandoperationsservicesacrossallITactivities.

    2.2.2 HistoryofITConsulting

    TodayITconsultingisanimportantaspectoftheconsultingindustry(Nissen,2007).The

    firstconsultingservicesaresaidtohaveemergedinthelatenineteenthcenturyinthe

    form of individuals providing advisory services around engineering, accounting and

    advertising (Kipping,1999).McKenna (1995)claims that the first consulting firmwas

  • 17

    founded in 1890 by Arthur D. Little. As he states, it provided advisory services on

    technical research and management engineering. In 1914 the first management

    consultancybythenameBoozAllenHamiltonwasfounded,asMcKenna(1995)points

    out.Thisissaidtohavebeentheblueprintforpuremanagementconsultingfirmslike

    McKinsey which arose soon after and shaped the development in the sector

    (O’Mahoney,2010).AccordingtoMcKenna(1995),aftertheeconomywashitbythe

    regressioninthe1920s,theGlass-SteagallBankingActin1933enforcedtheseparation

    ofbanksfromanynon-bankingactivities.Hereasonsthistobethecauseofthesteady

    growthofconsultingactivitiesfromthe1930sonward.AsstatedbyCiumara(2014)this

    developmentwasasaturningpointthatchangedthefocusofconsultingfromtechnical

    aspectsandproductiontobroaderstrategicandorganizationalapproaches.

    While IT consulting is sometimes associated with management consulting, its

    developmentgoesbacktothe1950s(Kipping&Clark,2012).Fromthistimewheremost

    of the first consultancies have maintained their focus on strategy consulting, the

    growingdemandforexpertiseinimplementation,ITandoutsourcinghashelpedother

    companiestogrowintotheconsultingbusiness,likeIBM,Deloitte,PWCandAccenture

    (O’Mahoney,2010).

    2.2.3 ITConsultingToday

    BytodaytheITconsultingsectorhasencounteredasteadygrowthoverthelast4years

    and has grown beyond the size of the original strategy consulting in market size

    (Consultancy.uk, 2017b). Figure 2-3 shows this development in comparison to other

    typesofconsultingalongsidetheoverallannualgrowthoftheconsultingindustryof4,1

    %peryear.

  • 18

    Figure2-3:ConsultingIndustryMarketSize(Consultancy.uk,2017a)

    The IT consulting sector is driven by the developments in information technology

    (Schwalbe,2015).Recenttopicsandtechnologiessuchascloudcomputing,mobileor

    socialmediaareposingnewareasofinnovationandgrowthforcompanies(Rahimi,Ren,

    Liu, Vasilakos, & Venkatasubramanian, 2014). Following the authors thought,

    technologiesunderlyingthis,sometimesalsoreferredtoasthesocialmobilecloud,can

    create new business opportunities if adapted in a purposeful manner. Based on

    Sheltons’research(2013),tosuccessfullyformulateandimplementastrategybasedon

    thenewtechnologies,manycompaniesrelyonITconsultancies.Heseesthisasoneof

    thedriversoffurthergrowthintheITconsultingsector.

    Inaddition,withthecapabilitiesofinformationtechnologydataisacentralresourcefor

    companies (Levitin & Redman, 1998). With todays’ technology, it has become

    increasinglyeasytogatherdataoncustomersandtheirbehaviour(Kemper,Mehanna,

  • 19

    &Unger,2004).Incombinationwiththedataavailablefromexternalsourcesandsocial

    mediaplatforms,thisposesnewchancesformarketingandsales(Zeng,Chen,Lusch,&

    Li,2010).Thetechnologicalbuzzwordoftenheardinthiscontextisbigdataandhow

    datachangesthewaybusinessesaretransformed(Mayer-Schönberger&Cukier,2013;

    S.J.Walker,2014).ITcompanieshavecreateddifferentproductstosupportthistrend,

    buttousetheproductsinameaningfulwayandbuildupastrategythatbenefitsfrom

    thenewpossibilities,ITconsultanciesareoftencalledinasenablersasstatedbyYaqoob

    etal.(2016).Astheymention,oncethestrategyisdefined,theactualimplementation

    canoften result inprojectsofhigh complexity.Basedonwhat Schwalbe (2015) said

    aboutdriversforITconsultancies,suchproductswilllikelybeconductedincooperation

    withanITconsultancy.

    2.2.4 KeyIssuesandChallengesintheITConsultingSector

    WhilenotnecessarilycompletelythesameforITconsultancies,areportbyFrederiksen

    (2016)onchallengesformanagementconsultingfirmsshowedthatthekeychallenge

    wastoattractanddevelopnewbusiness.EspeciallyinITconsulting,thisisoftenequal

    to identifying thenext trendearlyon,buildupskillandexpertise in theseareasand

    establishastrongpositionbeforeanycompetitorsdo.

    Figure2-4:Top5BusinessChallengesforConsultingFirms(Frederiksen,2016)

  • 20

    To be able to provide services for innovative technologies, IT consultancies need to

    maintainahigh-performancecultureandemployhighlyskilledemployees(Djavanshir

    &Agresti,2007).Thisposeschallengestopeoplemanagementespeciallyasindividuals

    oftenworkonclientsite,whereitisdifficulttoestablishandpromotetheconsultancies

    workingculture(James,2015).

    Anadditionalchallengecanalsobeattractingtheyoungergenerationsasemployees.

    AccordingtoDowning(2006)millennials,bornbetween1980and1995,areageneration

    many IT consulting firmshave identified as ideal hires to build up skill in innovative

    technologiesrelatedtomobile,cloudandsocialmedia.Heseesthatformanyatthis

    age, technology has already been a central part of their lives. Consultancies are

    competing for these talents not only amongst themselves, but also with other

    technology companies that often offer a modern working culture adapting to the

    prioritiesofmillennials(Bolshaw,2014).

    Cultureandattractingtalentarenottheonlychallengesthatcompaniesmustface.With

    theincreasingemphasisoninnovationandflexibilitydrivenbyIT,thetraditionalwayof

    working in linear, phase-oriented projects has givenway tomore versatilemethods

    (Bustard, 2012). Thus, as Bustardmentions,many companies have introduced agile

    methodsandprinciples.Heseesentirecompaniesadaptingagilenotonlyasproject

    managementmethods,butalsoastheiroverallculture.This,hestates, isoftentimes

    seenasanattempttomimicthebehaviorsofstartupsandsuccessfulITcompaniessuch

  • 21

    asGoogleorAmazon.Thetrendofagileprojectmanagementwillbefurtherdiscussed

    aspartoftheliteraturereviewonprojectmanagementandITtrendsinalatersection.

    2.2.5 LocatingtheResearchProblemwithintheITConsultingSector

    VandenBrink(2010)hasdescribedthelifeofaprojectmanagerinconsultinginapaper,

    that seems to relyprimarilyonhisownexperienceasa consultingprojectmanager.

    Accordingtohim,muchoftheworkconductedbyconsultanciesiseitheraprojector

    related to a project. Hementions that the consultants areworking in these project

    environmentswheretheyarefacedwiththechallengeoftwodifferentorganizations:

    theclients’organizationandtheirown.Whilehispaperindicatesthistobeanimportant

    elementofconsulting, it is limited in itsacademicapplicabilityas it lacksdata-based

    evidencetosupportthisstatement.IncontrasttoVandenBrink(2010),thisresearch

    project employs empiric research methods to investigate the area of project

    management in ITconsulting. Italso focusesonthe investigationontheselectionof

    projectmanagementsoftwareasasub-aspectofprojectmanagementinITconsulting.

    In regard to thesectorof IT consulting, thiswill likelyalsoprovide further insightas

    academicresearchwithinthisareaislimitedtothisday.

    2.3 TheHistoryofProjectManagement

    Thefirststeptowardsaninvestigationintoprojectmanagement,oneshouldfirstreview

    thedefinitionofprojectitself.Oneofthemostcommondefinitionsofaprojectisalso

    promoted by the Project Management Institute (PMI) (2013), which describes the

    projectasuniqueendeavouroftemporarynature.Theuniquenessdifferentiatesitfrom

    continuous organizational processes. A project, in contrast to a program, also has a

    definedbeginningandend (ProjectManagement Institute,2013). This isbuildingon

  • 22

    Turners’ (1996,p.6)definitionofprojectmanagementbeing the“artandscienceof

    converting vision into reality”. In comparison, PRINCE2, another common project

    managementmethod,proposesthatprojectsaredefinedbyfivecharacteristics:they

    drivechange,includealevelofuncertainly,aretemporaryanduniqueinnature,and

    requirecross-functionalteams(Bentley,2010).

    When now looking at project management, the PMI (2013) states that project

    management is theapplicationof knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques toproject

    activities tomeet the project requirements. As this definition is widely accepted in

    practice, it canbeassumed to foster the communicationwithpractitionersover the

    courseof the research. For this reason, itwill be takenas the coredefinition for all

    projectmanagementrelateddiscussionswithintheresearchathand.

    Whennowlookingatthisterminology,onewillquicklyconcludethatprojectsaccording

    to this definition were conducted long before the term was even debated within

    academics.Historicalendeavoursliketheconstructionofthecoliseumorthepyramids

    forexamplearelargeconstructionprojectsbythisdefinitionandmilitarycampaignsat

    thetimealsofacedahighcomplexityinplanningandexecution(Seymour&Hussein,

    2014;D.H.Walker,2008).Assuch, thecoordinationof theseprojectswasalreadya

    formofprojectmanagement(Kwak,2005).

    Early occurrences of techniques that are often related to the first steps in modern

    projectmanagementareforexampletheinventionoftheGanttchartbyHenryGanttin

    1917, which utilizes the visualization of network dependencies (Chiu, 2010;Morris,

  • 23

    1994).Interestingly,Marsh(1975)foundthattheelementsofGanttchartswerealready

    invented previously by the Polish engineer Karol Adamiecki as work-flow network

    diagrams called “harmonograms” in 1896. TheGantt chart can still be foundwithin

    popularprojectmanagementsoftwaresuchasMSProjecttoday.

    Inthefirsthalfofthelastcentury,theseprojectmanagementtechniqueswereapplied

    withinthemilitaryandindustrialareatosteerandcoordinatelogisticalandproduction

    projects(Hall,2012).Thetermandprofessionofprojectmanagementthenbecamean

    areaofinterestinitselfinthelate1950s,whenitwasintroducedandexpandedtoutilize

    theprogramevaluationandreviewtechnique(PERT) intheUSmilitaryandchemical

    industry (Garel, 2013; Kwak, 2005). Garel mentions that since then, project

    managementhasbeendevelopedandrefinedaccordingtothefieldsofapplication.He

    foundthat throughthis,projectmanagementstartedoutwithastrongemphasison

    holistic planning capabilities as it originated from applications on projects where

    outcomeandtheprocesstowardsachievingitcouldbepredefinedrelativelywell.This

    iswhatHall(2012)callsdeterministicprojects,examplesofwhichwouldbeconstruction

    orlogistics.

    Onemajordevelopmentwithin the fieldwas thestandardizationof terminologyand

    processes,which has been fostered since the 1980s through the implementation of

    organizations such as the ProjectManagement Institute (PMI), UK’s Association for

    ProjectManagement (APM), theAustralian InstituteofProjectManagement (AIPM),

    and the International ProjectManagement Association (IPMA) (Turner et al., 2013).

    AccordingtotheProjectManagementInstitute(2017),theyareanorganization,which

  • 24

    aimstostandardizeandpromoteprojectmanagementandallowsforprojectsmanagers

    to testandcertifyasprofessionalsaccordingto itsstandards.Withagrowthofover

    1000%inmembershipssince1996,thereisacleartendencyofgrowthwithinthearea

    ofstandardizedprojectmanagement(Hall,2012).

    Throughtheresearchoftheprojectmanagementjournal,ajournalpublishingfivetosix

    articlesonaquarterlybasis,RivardandDupré(2009)foundthatfrom1970to1986only

    onearticlewasrelatedto informationsystemsprojectmanagement.Since2000, the

    applicationofprojectmanagementinfieldslikeresearchormodernindustriessuchas

    information technology also became increasingly common, which also changed the

    focus from concrete to more abstract project outcomes (Hall, 2012). According to

    Stepanek (2005), this levelofabstraction isalsooneof themajor challengeswith IT

    projects,asitincreasesthelikelihoodofchangesthroughoutaproject.Trendslikethe

    introductionof agile projectmanagement in 2001have tried to provide ameans to

    workingwiththisincreasinglevelofchangewithintheprojectbypromotingastronger

    focusonflexibility,earlierresultsandcontinuousimprovement(Kerzner,2015).Kerzner

    debatesthatthroughthis,anyuncertaintiesinplanningduetotheabstractnatureof

    softwareandITcanbebroughttolightearlierinprojects.

    2.3.1 ProjectManagementResearch

    With thedevelopmentof projectmanagement in practice, the research intoproject

    managementhasevolvedaswelloverthelasttwodecades(Turner,2010).AsTurner

    mentions,aspartofthisgrowth,ithasalsomaturedfromapurelypractitioneroriented

    focus to an academic fieldof study, a statementwhich is supportedby theworkof

  • 25

    Rivard&Dupré(2009).Healsoarguesthat,asprojectmanagementisaratherrecent

    fieldofstudymanyaspectswithinithavenotyetbeenacademicallycovered.

    Theemphasisofmoststudieshasbeenplacedonquantitativeresearch,whichprovides

    insights into project management from a positivist perspective (Floricel, Bonneau,

    Aubry,&Sergi,2014).Whilethissuggeststhatmostresearchcontributestotheoryin

    termsofmeasurabilityandapplicabilityofresults,itdoesnotaddressthepossibilityof

    yet undiscovered areas within the field due to its specific focus. This focus on

    deterministic works implies that there is an increasing need to investigate beyond

    existing structures and frameworks to expand academic knowledge (Jacobsson &

    Söderholm, 2011; Padalkar & Gopinath, 2016). While taking existing theory into

    consideration,acriticalperspectivegoingbeyondafunctional-positiveviewshouldbe

    maintained(Sage,Dainty,&Brookes,2014).

    Since thepracticeofprojectmanagement is influencedby the sector it is applied in

    (Besner & Hobbs, 2012; Shenhar, 2001), it should also be noted that a majority of

    researchonprojectmanagementsoftwarewasconductedeitherregardlessofsector-

    specificsorwithintheconstructionandengineeringsector(Pellerinetal.,2013).The

    currentstudywillcontributetoexistingaspectsbyconductingtheresearchwithinthe

    sectorofITconsulting,whichhasnotbeencoveredpreviously.

    2.4 AreasofInvestigationrelatedtothisStudy

    Basedonthedevelopmentsinresearch,askingfortheory-buildingstudies,theaimof

    thisstudywillbetotakeanexplorativeapproach.Assuch,theliteraturereviewcovers

    twomainaspects:

  • 26

    1) Identifyliteratureandfindingsaboutsoftwareselectioninproject

    managementitself

    2) Provideadeeperunderstandingofthecontexttheresearchisconductedin

    andidentifypotentiallyinfluentialfactorsforsoftwareselection

    Basedonthisdecision,fourkeyareaswithintheliteratureofprojectmanagementhave

    been identified that will be investigated. The first is project management software

    selectionasakeytopic.Thisisattheheartofthisresearchprojectandthusneedstobe

    covered extensively. The second topic is success factors and processes in project

    management tounderstandhow theseare related to theareaof software selection

    within project management. The other two areas to investigate are related to the

    context the research is conducted in. These are information technology asmultiple

    authorshavetalkedaboutaspectsspecificofITprojects;andthesectorofITconsulting,

    whichhasinpartbeencoveredintheprevioussection.Thefollowingdiagramdepicts

    an overview of these four areas in relation to the central element of project

    management.

    Figure2-5:AreasofInvestigation

    Asprojectmanagementselectioncanalsobeviewedasadecision-makingprocess,

    decisionmakingtheorywasalsoconsideredaspartofthisresearch.Astheaimofthe

    SoftwareSelection

    SuccessFactors&Processes

    InformationTechnology ITConsulting

    ProjectManagement

  • 27

    researchwastocometoanunderstandingabouttheprocessanditscriteriafroma

    projectmanagementperspectiveasopposedtothepsychologicalperspectivesonit,

    decisionmakingwasnotmadeoneofthemainfieldsofinquiry.Theoretical

    perspectivesandtherationalefornotmakingitafocusareaarediscussedinthe

    followingsubsection.

    2.4.1 DecisionMaking

    Whileresearchondecisionmakinginaneconomiccontextgoesbackmorethanhalfa

    century(Cohen,March,&Olsen,1972;Nutt&Wilson,2010),itisalsoinfluencedby

    theareaofpsychologicaldecisionmaking(Kahneman,2012).Indecisionmaking

    theory,oneapproachistodivideintonormative,descriptiveandprescriptivemodesof

    analysis,whichinvestigatethedetailsofsuchprocessesintermsofdecisionmodels

    (Bell,Raiffa,&Tversky,1988).Inmanyeconomicalenvironmentsthecomplexityofa

    decisionquicklyleadstoareasofuncertaintywithinthedecisionprocess,anapproach

    thatisproclaimedinSimon'sconceptofgroundedrationality(Simon,1982).Whileone

    couldevaluatethedecisionmodelsintermsofapplicabilitytowardsutilizationinthe

    softwareselectionprocess,theresearchathandaimstofocusontheprocessfroma

    projectmanagementperspectiveandwhichcriteriafromwithinitsbusinesscontext

    areinvolved.

    2.5 ProjectManagementSoftwareSelection

    2.5.1 Terminology

    Wheninvestigatingprojectmanagementsoftware,itseemssensibletofirstclarifythe

    underlyingterminology.Twoimportanttermsinthiscontextarethetoolsandsoftware.

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    Forthisresearchproject, it is importanttocometoaclearlyoutlineddefinition,asit

    impactsthescopeofthisresearchandtheapplicabilityofanyoutcomesgenerated.

    The different terms found in academic literature for this topic range from project

    managementsoftware(Alietal.,2008),toprojectmanagementtoolsandtoolsetswith

    softwareasasubset(Besner&Hobbs,2012),toolsasatermusedinterchangeablywith

    software(Chadlietal.,2016;Gurjar,2016;Margea&Margea,2011),tothetermtools

    inthesenseofnon-technicaltools(Patanakul,Iewwongcharoen,&Milosevic,2010),to

    the term of project management information systems (PMIS; (Borštnar Mirjana &

    Pucihar,2014;Caniëls&Bakens,2011).Thisshowsthe lackofacommonlyaccepted

    definitionamongauthorsusingthesetermsinthecontextofprojectmanagement.Also,

    noevidencewasfoundthatthislackofclarityhadyetbeenaddressed.

    Forthecurrentstudy, it is importanttorecognizethesetermsasbeingused intheir

    differentmeaningtobeabletounderstandthedifferentcontributionsmadeinthisfield

    of research. However, it is not sufficient to merely understand the works of other

    authors. In order to allow for a clearer understanding of the terminology used

    throughout this thesis, a definition was adapted from one of the aforementioned

    authors.

    DefinitionofProjectManagementTool:Atoolisanyformofassetutilizedbyprojectmanagers,includingphysicalandvirtualtoolssuchassoftware.DefinitionofProjectManagementSoftware:Softwareasasubsetoftools,soprojectmanagementsoftwareisavirtualtoolappliedinthecontextofprojectmanagement.

    Figure2-6:DefinitionofToolsandSoftwarebasedonBesnerandHobbs’(2012)Interpretation

    As the author of this thesis has not encountered the term Project Management

    InformationSystem(PMIS)inpractice,thistermwillnotbereferredtooverthecourse

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    of this study. It should also be mentioned that the research at hand aims to only

    investigatethesoftwareselectionasperthedefinitionchosenabove,nottoolsintheir

    broader definition. Based on the different definitions in the literature it will be a

    researchquestionofthisstudytogainanunderstandingofhowthetermsareusedin

    practice.Thiswillhopefullycontributetoamoreconscioususeofthesetermsinfuture

    researchandsimplifytheexchangeofinformationbetweentheoryandpractice.

    Aim:Provideclarityregardingterminologyinthecontextofprojectmanagementasusedinpractice.

    2.5.2 WhatisProjectManagementSoftware?

    Whilesomeresearchhasbeenconductedonprojectmanagementsoftware,littletime

    isspentondefiningwhichsoftwarefallsintothiscategory.Ageneraldefinitionisgiven

    by Caniëls and Bakens (2011) who state that these systems should provide project

    managers with decision making support for planning, organizing and controlling

    projects.Besner&Hobbs(2012)linksoftwareinprojectmanagementtopracticesand

    processgroupsbasedonthePMBodyofKnowledge(PMBOK)fromPMI.Throughthis

    they apply amore specific definition,which is howevermore prone to change as it

    depends on the PMBOK which is regularly updated (Project Management Institute,

    2013).

    This criticism could be made of most definitions though, as due to the rapid

    developmentsofsoftwareproductsandtheevolutionofprojectmanagementitself,any

    definitionsgiven todaymaycause themtobeoutdatedorat least inaccurate in the

    future.Thus,theseshouldalwaysbereviewedcriticallyinthelightoftheirtime.Since

    the question on what exactly is project management software is not unanimously

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    answeredthroughtheliterature, itwillbepartofthisstudyto identifydefinitionsas

    usedbypractitioners.

    Aim:Provideclarityonthescopeofprojectmanagementsoftwarefrompractitioners’perspectives.

    2.5.3 TheUsageofProjectManagementSoftware

    Whileapositiveimpactoftheuseofprojectmanagementsoftwareonprojectsuccess

    wasfound(Alietal.,2008;Raymond&Bergeron,2008)ithasalsobeenshownthatthis

    influenceisdependingonotherfactors.Twodependenciesidentifiedarethatofdata

    qualitywithinthesoftwareaswellasthelevelofusage(Raymond&Bergeron,2008).

    Thus,itissensibletoinvestigateprojectmanagersconcernwiththelevelofPMsoftware

    usage.ItwasalsofoundbyRaymondandBergeronthatthepotentialusageofproject

    management software is related to project budget, so it is also a key aspect that is

    consideredinthestudyandtheinterviews.AsRaymondandBergeronbasedtheirstudy

    onaquestionnairewitharelativelysmallsamplesize,itislimitedinitsgeneralizability

    andisrestrictedtoparametersidentifiedforthequestions.Inaddition,theirstudywas

    conductedinacross-sectorenvironmentanddoesnottakeintoaccountsector-specific

    implications.Thus,thecurrentstudywilltakethesefindingsintoconsideration,butwill

    needtoexplorethemintheprocessofPMsoftwareselectionandwithinthecontextof

    ITconsulting.

    Aim:Developanunderstandingoftheimportanceof1. dataquality2. softwareusage3. projectbudget

    inthesoftwareselectionprocess.

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    Another question resulting from the importance of software usage is how it can be

    maximized?Whilenoliteraturewasfoundinvestigatingtheviewofprojectmanagers

    when it comes to leveraging software, some authors have conducted research on

    capabilities of software by investigating the availability of products or features. An

    exampleofthisisthediscussionbyMargeaandMargea(2011),whocomparedifferent

    PMopensourceproductsavailableonthemarketbasedonthefeaturesprovidedby

    eachproduct.Thefocusonfunctionalitiesleavesthequestionofwhethertheidentified

    criteriaaresensibleinlightofpracticalapplication.Thisisaquestionthatshouldlikely

    beaskedtoprojectmanagersandusersofsuchsoftware.Inasimilarapproach,Besner

    andHobbs (2012)compareddifferentsoftwareproducts,by identifyingwhichof the

    PMBOKpracticesandprocessesare coveredby them throughquantitative research.

    Based on the approach this also does not provide further insight on the project

    managersperspective.Thus,aninvestigationintothedetailsoftheselectionofsoftware

    fromthepractitioners’viewseemsnecessary.

    Aim:Developanunderstandingofprojectmanagementsoftwareselectionfromthepractitioners’perspective.

    Incontrasttotheauthorsabove,WhiteandFortune(2002)foundthroughaquantitative

    studythatprojectmanagersperceivedprojectmanagementsoftwaretobeinadequate

    forthemanagementofcomplexprojects.Asthestudywasconductedmorethanten

    years back however, this result should be seenwith caution due to the continuous

    development of both project management and PM software. However, project

    complexityisstillfoundtobeageneralchallengeinrelationtoprojectsuccess,thusit

    couldstillberelevantinregardtoPMsoftwareselection(deCarvalho,Patah,&deSouza

    Bido,2015).

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    2.5.4 FunctionalitiesofProjectManagementSoftware

    Aselaborated,noevidencewasfoundonresearchinvestigatingPMsoftwarefromthe

    perspectiveoftheuser.However,someresearchhasbeenconductedonfunctionalities

    and features. This is not the same as selection criteria from the users’ perspective.

    However, it givesan insight into features,which softwarevendorsperceive tobeof

    relevance to the softwareusers. Thus, these features could alsobeof relevance for

    projectmanagerswhenselectingsoftware.Consequently,itisvaluabletotakealookat

    thefunctionalitiesotherresearchershaveinvestigatedinmoredetail.Anoverviewof

    suchfeaturesandfunctionalitiesisgivenbyBesnerandHobbs(2012)asdetailedintable

    2-2. The basic functionalities detailed are classic areas of project management

    supporting processes found in most project environments, whereas the advanced

    functionalitiesaremoretailoredtowardsspecificorganizationalneeds.

    BasicPMSoftwareFunctionality AdvancedPMSoftwareFunctionalityGanttchart PM software for multi-project resource

    managementPMsoftwarefortaskscheduling PMsoftwareforInternetaccessPMsoftwareformonitoringofschedule PMsoftwareforissuemanagementPMsoftwareforresourcescheduling PMsoftwareforprojectportfolioanalysisPMsoftwareformonitoringofcost PM software linked with Enterprise

    ResourcePlanningPMsoftwareforresourcelevelling PMsoftwareforscenarioanalysisPMsoftwareformulti-projectscheduling

    Table2-2:PMsoftwarefunctionalitiesbasedonBesnerandHobbs(2012)

    Pellerin et al. (2013) also investigated the utilization of software packages and their

    correlationwithprojectsuccessinengineeringprojects.Theirapproachwastogather

    data on the utilization based on subsystems they defined for the software. These

    provideaninsightintotheirdefinitionoffunctionalities:

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    Subsystem FunctionProjectdefinition Define project parameters (employees, classification codes,

    etc.) and project characteristics (person in charge, dates,contracttype,etc.)

    Activityplanning ScheduleprojectactivitiesviaaspecificprofessionalsoftwareEnvironmentmanagement

    Manageenvironmentalplans,preventions,trainingandfollow-upactionsoninspectionsandaccidents

    Health and safetymanagement

    Manage health and safety plans, preventive measures,education, preventions, inspections and follow-up actions onaccidentsandincidents

    Estimating processmanagement

    Establishdetailedestimateofproject(projectworkbreakdownstructure,workpackages,etc.)

    Working hoursmanagement

    Achieve follow-up on working hours provided by the firmaccordingtothecontracttypedefiningtheproject

    Documentcontrol Controldocuments(internalandexternal)generatedduringtheexecutionoftheproject

    Documentmanagement

    Manage processes related to the documents and archivedocuments

    Engineeringprocessmanagement

    Carry out recording, follow-up on equipment and materialsresultingfromengineering,allowpurchaserequisitionsandgiveaninterfacewithengineeringtools

    Procurementmanagement

    Manage procurement processes related to the project(purchasing, training, contract administration, logistics,procurement follow-up and inspection,materialmanagementonsite)

    Costmanagement Carry out follow-up on the project budget, invoicing andpayments

    Constructionactivitiesmanagement

    Manage construction contracts, do a follow-up on theconstructionprogressandmanageimplementationactivities

    Table2-3:SubsystemsandfunctionsbasedonPellerinetal.(2013)

    Most of the features mentioned are commonly found in literature and project

    management software descriptions. To gain an understanding of the utilization of

    software,theoverviewoffunctionalitieswilllaterbecomparedtotheapplicationsthat

    project managers see for software in practice. For the sake of comparison, some

    functions,liketheconstructionspecificactivities,havebeenexcluded,astheyposeno

    relevanceforthisstudy.

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    2.6 ProjectSuccessandProcesses

    Projectsareconductedtoachieveagoal.Butwhenisaprojectsuccessful?Thissection

    willinvestigatetheaspectsbehindsuccessinaproject,aswellasthemeanstoconduct

    aproject fromamethodologicalperspective.Manystudieshave investigatedproject

    successandtoinvestigateprojectsuccessinitsentiretywouldbearesearchprojectof

    itsown.AstheaimofthisresearchisspecificallyfocusedonPMsoftwareselection,the

    literaturereviewwillonlyprovideanexcerptofthisliteraturedirectlyrelevanttothe

    current study. The following subsectionswill thus be focused on relating aspects of

    softwareselectiontoprojectsuccess.

    2.6.1 SuccessFactors

    Theaimofaninvestigationintosuccessfactorsistopotentiallyfindlinkswhereproject

    management software contributes to individual success factors, which could be an

    indicator for selection criteria of projectmanagers. Before looking for these specific

    factors, it seems sensible to first investigate into project success in the context of

    softwareselectionandITconsulting.ThelowperceivedsuccessrateofITprojectshas

    beenatopicforresearchforyears(Hidding&Nicholas,2017).Butwhatwouldsuccess

    bedefinedas?Themostcommondefinitionisforaprojecttobeconductedwithinthe

    so called “triple constraints” on time, to budget, to specification (White& Fortune,

    2002).

    However,thishasoftenbeencriticizedasignoringotherimportantfactors(Howsawi,

    Eager,&Bagia,2011).White&Fortune(2002)utilizedsurveystogatherdatafrommore

    than 200 project managers, which formed the basis for their suggestion to expand

    successfactorsbyaddingtheimpactoftheprojectonits’organizationasakeyaspect.

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    Other frameworks go beyond these basic factors and try to describe the aspects of

    success inmoredetail, such as Pinto and Slevin (1987)with their list of ten success

    factors.Recentcomplexframeworkssometimesdefineprojectsuccessbasedonover

    40 success criteria, allowing formuchmore focuseddiscussions (Hsu,Yen,&Chung,

    2015).Acritiqueoftheseisthattheyarestilldirectlyorindirectlyrelatedtothethree

    coreconstraints.Alsoeventhesecomplexmodelsstilldonotencompassacomplete

    understandingofsuccessfactors,whichislinkedtotheargumentthatsuccessisnota

    unanimouslystandardizedconcept(Irvine&Hall,2015).

    There has also been identified a dependence of detailed frameworks and different

    projecttypes(Pinto&Covin,1989).Consequently,asnostudiesinvestigatedPMsuccess

    incontextofITconsulting,nodefiniteanswercanbegiveninregardtotheresearchat

    hand. Instead, to facilitate the explorative nature of this study, a broader definition

    encompassingacondensed listofsuccess factorswillbeadopted.Thiswillallowthe

    investigation into the selection process of PM software to relate to project success

    whichintermfosterstheidentificationofpositiveinfluencesintheselectionprocess.

    Thus,thekeyfactorsasadaptedfromWhite&Fortune(2002)arethefollowing:

    - Realisticschedule- Adequatefunds/resources- Cleargoals/objectives- Resultingimpactontheorganization

    2.6.2 Terminology:ProcessesvsPractices

    Thetermmethodisoftenusedwhentalkingaboutprojectmanagement(Spiess,2008).

    However,whenlookingatagileprojectmanagement,thetermspracticeandprocess

    are alsomentioned regularly. Conboyand Fitzgerald (2010) seemethods as a setof

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    aligned processes and agile practices that can also be tailored to the project

    requirements.Inthissense,apracticeissimilartoaprocess.However,whileapractice

    canbe seenasapotentially repeatableactivity, tobecomeaprocess itneeds tobe

    adaptedwithinanorganizationorstandard(Takahashi,Yates,&Herman,2010).

    2.6.3 ProjectManagementProcesses

    One core element of project management are project management processes. As

    projectmanagement software is often implemented to support processes, it seems

    sensibletodevelopanunderstandingofthe investigatedaspectsofprocesses inthis

    study. There is a variety on processes, which are defined and discussed in industry

    standards.Oneofthemostcommononesisthestandardreleasedby