Preparing for the future of IT project value realisation: understanding benefits management practices - do incentives and management support really help?
Conference: 19th European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2011, Helsinki, Finland, June 9-11, 2011
Although organisations continue to make substantial investments in information systems and information technology (IS/IT), the successful realisation of value (i.e. benefits) from such investments has consistently been reported as a major organisational challenge. From a project perspective, this paper examines whether benefits management (BM) practices can be considered a viable approach to achieve such anticipated value. Drawing on a field study conducted by investigating BM practices in 29 organisations as well as the BM literature, we derive a structural equation model that is tested using data collected from 456 individuals. Our data analysis, by means of partial least squares, finds that specific BM competencies positively impact benefits realisation success (BRS). Furthermore, the findings suggest that the development of effective BM competencies are facilitated by an alignment of business and IT processes reflected in the constructs a) business process knowledge, and b) business-IT communication. We also find that incentives negatively influence the positive effect of benefits review practices in realising project benefits. Collectively, the results have important theoretical and practical implications, as they provide quantitative evidence of how IS/IT investments should be managed to successfully realise benefits. We expect our research to spur organisations to instil a shared understanding of how IS/IT relates to the business and vice versa within their project teams, which will intensify BM's positive effect on BRS.
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