Optimizing information and communication technology (ICT) project life cycles (PLC) in developed countries with a focus on Qatar and the middle east – Part 8


Chapter 5. Conclusion

The success and failure of IT/ICT projects were considered in a literature review and by interviewing Qatari leaders of management in the industry. The information gained is valuable because the complexities of every IT/ICT project are unique and details are all important. All of the project managers who were interviewed used the Hexagonal approach as the most practical and reliable. They combined the Hexagonal approach with PMI guidelines using PRINCE2® and PMBOK® either alone or in some type of hybrid style. The interviewees also found that the addition of Agile methodologies helped to tailor projects to the needs of the stakeholders. Topical matters in reference to running projects in Qatar were also discussed with the interviewees. Many suggestions were made about the need to educate the business community about the importance of Information Technology and build a better infrastructure to help support IT/ICT projects. The infrastructure could include educational strategies, regulation and even faster delivery systems.

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The best advice found during this literature review was the list of ten principles from T. Gilb for the prevention of project failure. His suggestions for developing the Scope documentation for IT projects were found to be comprehensive and practical. When the Scope documentation has been carefully prepared with input from all the stakeholders and with detailed design specifications, the possibility for a project’s success are much better.

The premise throughout the research has been that agile project management has a better chance of bringing a project to a successful end. The examples of successful projects shared here demonstrate that agile characteristics in a PM and a team include flexibility and adaptability. The research has demonstrated that agile practices can be incorporated for the betterment of the end result. Management theories are taught in textbooks but in real life, the concepts cannot fit the needs of every project. Learning through experience and observation can develop skills such as courage, vision, flexibility and energy. For this reason experienced PMs and at least one IT engineer experienced on the requirements of a specific project are two invaluable assets for success.

The thesis of this research has been that certain constraints can make an IT projects fail or succeed. The factors considered most important were assumed to be (a) resources, (b) risk, and (c) scope. These three factors were considered the most possible considerations leading to the failures experienced by Qatari companies. In fact, this was shown to be true according the literature review and interviews with management leaders in the IT/ICT technology business sphere. Hypothesis 1 suggested that IT project processes used are not appropriate; that perhaps Project Management Implementation (PMI) and PRojects IN Controlled Environments (Prince2) methodologies would be far more applicable. In fact the participants interviewed already use PRINCE2® and PMBOK® (PMI guidelines) alone or in some hybrid combination. That suggests that the IT applications are not the failure factors. Hypothesis 2 was that an ‘agile’ (or iterative) management approach with an emphasis on innovation would be a beneficial. This hypothesis does seem to be proved true by the literature review and the interviews.

If the chance would come for further development and a search for another piece of literature, the focus should be more on the Project Management Office (PMO) rather than on the CIOs and CEOs. In addition, more people (a larger sample pool) should be interviewed to further and accurate information on the essential topics.


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Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Interviewee #3
Position: Project manager
Company Type: ictQatar, ICT Regulation Authority
Method: Projects are based on an operation plan, in-line with the ictQatar Five-Year-Plan. PMI guidelines. ictQatar is an information and communication technology main regulator authority.

Within the five years - project is modified and created, prioritized. Budget, Scope, and Vendor (project initiation)

Main Project Phases:
1. Initiation
2. Planning
3. Execution
4. Closure
1. Scope and scope understanding by the vendor is critical.
2. Introducing new ideas and the needs for new IT solutions.
3. All projects are initiated through the top down approach; Senior Management will initiate the project.
4. During the Planning Phase: engaging the right stakeholder is hard; since there is no the appropriate knowledge.
5. Projects overlapping in the county; due to the country size, yet there is no appropriate way of
6. Data availability in the country; in which the exact information is missing.
7. Risks and political dynamics.
8. Availability of the qualified vendor.
9. Misunderstanding of contracts by the PM.
Project Closure Challenges:
1. Payments and schedules (rush around the end of the financial year, April)
Final payment should be done after submitting guarantee letter and performance benchmarks
2. Project extension process and reinitiating depending on closer.
Project Success Factors and Judges:
1. On paper project succession: in time, within budget, according to quality and fulfilling the objectives.
2. Main managerial and main stakeholder satisfaction. (Example about politics, how Chinese whisper going about the project as there are key people who should be notified.)
Fail Factors: (See above)
More Discussion and Final Remarks:
Usually governmental entities are endorsers.
To address the project challenges could have a consultant who would be hands-on technologically qualified, whom will be alongside the PM.
During the Project Execution Phase good to have the stakeholders endorsement of the project.
(The challenges) can be solved using the appropriate information and with the use of the hexagonal approach.

Appendix 4

Appendix 5

Appendix 6

Appendix 7

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Appendix 8

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