The Failure of Risk Management in Information Systems Projects

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New product development projects are highly risky technical undertakings. Organizations frequently seek to manage the risk involved using standard risk management procedures, knowing that a company that better manages risks is less vulnerable. Nevertheless, NPD projects continue to fail to meet expectations for delivery time, budget, and outcomes. In this paper, we explore reasons why, despite employing self-evidently correct risk management procedures, adversities occurred in 19 major information systems projects. Project managers focused on the familiar, the measurable, the favorable, the noncommittal, and the controllable while excluding other risks that significantly affected their project performance. We have characterized this tendency as a series of five lures that leave projects vulnerable to risks.

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