|Authors||P. Mohagheghi and M. Jørgensen|
|Title||What contributes to the success of IT projects?: success factors, challenges and lessons learned from an empirical study of software projects in the Norwegian public sector|
|Project(s)||SMIOS: Successful ICT solutions in the public sector|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Place Published||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
Context. Each year the public sector invests large amounts of money in the development and modifications of their software systems. These investments are not always successful and many public sector software projects fail to deliver the expected benefits. Goal. This study aims at reducing the waste of resources on failed software projects through better understanding of the success factors and challenges. Method.Thirty-five completed software projects in 11 organizations in the public sector of Norway were analyzed. For each project, representatives from the project owners, project management and the user organization were interviewed. Results. Small and large software projects reported different challenges, especially related to project priority. Taking advantage of agile practices such as flexible scope and frequent delivery increased the success rate of the projects. Projects with time and material contracts and involved clients during execution were more successful than other projects. The respondents experienced that extensive involvement and good competence of the client, high priority of the project, good dialogue between client and provider and appliance of agile practices were main success factors. Main challenges were related to technical issues, project planning and management, transition of the product to the user organization, involvement and competence of the client, and benefit management. Conclusions. Success factors tend to focus on human factors, e.g., involvement, competence and collaboration. Challenges focus on human factors as well as issues of technical nature. Both aspects need to be addressed to enable successful and avoid failed software projects. Competence, client involvement and benefit management are among factors that the public sector should focus on for realizing client benefits.