Simon Vrhovec (2010) Resistance governance in IT projects. EngD thesis.
The failure rate of projects introducing major changes is worrying. Resistance to change is recognized as an important factor in project failure. Resistance is a natural part of the change process and is therefore present in all changes. IS changes are mostly evolutionary. Organizations infrequently implement more important strategic changes with a broader scope. Resistance often remains overlooked and usually does not constitute a serious threat to the change as it is proportional to the change scope. Organizations can therefore easily handle a certain amount of resistance without it's management. Resistance has traditionally a negative connotation as it causes unanticipated costs and delays in the change implementation. Research has shown such treatment of resistance inadequate and that there is in fact utility to be gained from resistance. The present study explores the causes of resistance and identifies the key elements of resistance management – the possible sources of resistance. The resistance governance recommendations and strategies which are summarized in the present study can be applied to the key elements. Changes at the strategic level may be managed by IT governance in the IT field. IT portfolio management, which includes all IT projects and programs within an organization, may be defined as the execution discipline of IT governance. The present study proposes a resistance management model based on existing models and considering resistance from a risk management perspective. The proposed model is also integrated into the PMI project management standard. Alternatively, resistance management could represent a new knowledge area in the standard as resistance is present in all projects introducing changes. Even more meaningful could be the integration of a new and broader knowledge area into the standard – the management of changes being introduced.
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