Comparing IT Project Failures: Case Studies From RMIT, Cambridge And Queensland Health

Case Study 1: IT Project Failure at RMIT and Cambridge Universities

The first case study of the RMIT and Cambridge University is the leading educational institutions and has a failure in the Packaged Enterprise Application Software that has implemented the PeopleSoft’s version 7.6 for the administration software of the student. In the paper there was a serious problem in the go-live was database got corrupted so badly due to which repairing of the organizational engagement or the user involvement is lacking for the respective project. For poor management, the large-scale projects have lack of experience. However, in the final result, the user involvement or the organizational engagement was low. An evidence was provided for the respective systems as they were not live.

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The other case study of the Queensland in Australia has a failure in the payroll system which is the most spectacular implementation failure of Information Systems (IS) in the Southern Hemisphere (Eden and Sedera 2014). There has been a failure in the ministry health resignation, industrial strike action and staff members’ loss for other employers. In Australia they have the highest judicial form was the failure is examined and recommended with large governmental IS projects. The teaching case has been examined for the Queensland Health IS implementation project that includes the overview of technological and environmental drivers project, the project key stakeholders roles and responsibilities, the implementation of the approach and the project outcome, reasons for the implementation failure (Eden and Sedera 2014).

Executive Support

The executive supports the project vision which provides funding with some major resources. Once the executive support is chosen it becomes crucial that there comes a vested interest for the executive to bring a successful outcome. Executive support has a management support that usually facilitates the decision-making and supports the senior executive information (Tondeur et al. 2016). The information could get easy access with relevant to the organizational goals. It helps top-level executives to compare, analyse and highlight trends were performance could be monitor and identify the problems and opportunities. The computer-based programs have a mainframe that package the data and provide sales for market research or sales performance, that has a chief executive officer, marketing directors that are well acquainted for the computer.

In the case study of RMIT and Cambridge, the executive sponsor provides a legitimacy and has a project vision (Seddon 2018). The funding has been provided for the major resources of the executive sponsor as choosing a sponsor has become crucial to getting a successful outcome. There have been also a situation where the executive sponsor has to support the project manager. The project manager has to multilingual were it can effectively communicate with the technical teams and the stakeholders (Burgan 2015). The authority has been given to the gatekeeper where it could decide the functions and features of the project that has been released later or in the first phase. The resources, business value, risk, schedule and project quality have each feature and function.

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Case Study 2: IT Project Failure at Queensland Health

The level of governance for the project is adequate was structured that approach has a methodology that is suitable for the project. The functionality of the project that is relevant to stakeholders as it has no formal project deliverables that have a business requirement, testing, specifications and strategies for data conversion (Eden and Sedera 2014). There are large-scale projects that bypass various mechanisms for governance and gain some approval. Even the poor project management of the Cambridge University include contractors that have low-level of staff for the role of project manager (Iqbal, Nadeem and Zaheer 2015). The governance of the project gets poor which has a complex committee structure.

In the RMIT and Cambridge Universities case study, the various committees are responsible for the project manager (Seddon 2018). There is a lack of user involvement or the organizational engagement for the respective projects (Mir and Pinnington 2014). The user involvement reduces as the Project Director Gain real involvement by the project managers.

The case study revealed that the project manager lack in experience, the steering committee of the project is ineffective and the scope of the project is not controlled with little buy-in. The RMIT has initiated the reviews whose result has been undertaken for the project management and sponsorship as identified (Liu et al. 2014). The governance structure is clearly defined as there is a lack in AMS project (Seddon 2018). The experience project manager has expected that the system was not ready. If the project manager is experienced than the problem attributed two poor project management.

The Business objectives are clear and help project teams to prioritize the performance of work for the objectives that could be achieved best. The scope and requirements get prioritised when the project manager works with the team (Alreemy et al. 2016). As the project manager is working with the team, it determines project dollars to achieve the objectives were the decision is straightforward for both the case study.  

Before making any amendment the researcher needs to do research that is identified to gain the business idea. Through the process of validation, that business idea could be run and could solve a problem, offer the wants of the market or fulfil the firm needs. The next step both the firm had followed was to make the business plan for the growth of the business (Pecherskaya et al. 2016). The third step is to plan for the finances were an initial investment is required to cover the ongoing expenses. The fourth step is to choose the structure of the business that has an impact on the corporation where the business name is registered. In both, the case study, permits or license is required. The budget was managed by maintaining the accounting system to set the rates and prices and file the taxes to get the business promoted.

Factors Contributing to IT Project Failures

For being a professional, it is easy to lose the fundamentals, foster commitment, agents, targets and sponsors (M. Beheshti et al. 2014). The sponsors get consistent display support for the changes that need influential communication and consequences that are meaningful. The major commitment to change in the organization does not include an intellectual agreement with no emotional support. The awareness is necessary for the sponsor to recognize the needs that occur.

The organization has an adequate requirement that required a suitable subject within require a period (Asgarkhani et al. 2017). Sufficient time is provided to the investigator within the agreed trial period. The staff are qualified and required a foreseen duration. In the Queensland health, adequate healthcare services are provided to approximately 40,000 people across 300 sites with 85,000 employees (Eden and Sedera 2014). 

Complexity was found more than flexibility, as the healthcare industry is fundamentally different from regardless to other industries. The system of healthcare caters to the industry as the system get complex and complicated. In both the case study, the goal is identical but the environment is different where each time the same sequence is followed. Flexibility in the process of project management is usually more successful (Duffield and Whitty 2015). The project manager thought time and cost could be buffer as it adds flexibility. The resources are insufficient for people, material and equipment. There needs a change in the project management processes to make things done. Proper decision making is not flexible.

In the case study of IT failure, there is a need for effective communication which is important in between the client, vendor and consultant. Even for the healthcare industry communication is crucial even for the interaction between person to person in the IS. Around 50 % of the IS project implementation fails (Abu-Shanab, Abu-Shehab and Khairallah 2015). All the groups of stakeholder have a lack of communication that leads to the disjoint perception of project goals and outcomes. Furthermore, there was an implementation project of ERP were communication becomes important for the user. In the RMIT and Cambridge University case study, communication is a very important factor for success as the AMS project lacked effective and strong management (Seddon 2018).  

The “go-live “decision of AMS need input from the stakeholder, were AMS Project Director input was sought were the system is implemented through contractors. The RMIT did not identify and obtain the buy-in which led to a change in feeling and forced to make them resistant. The teaching case further observes that the project has a key stakeholder for their roles and responsibilities (Eden and Sedera 2014).

Stakeholder Communication

The complexity of the project has encompassed the vendor to govern the project and effective communication. The vendor of the ERP system has also recommended that the paid testing has to go-live for the wages of the employees to test the election. The vendor involvement is very much important for the ERP implementation projects. The vendor supports the system as they have the knowledge about the objectives and requirement of the organization.


From the two case study, it has been concluded that the failure of the project management was mostly dependent on the project managers. The stakeholder has lack of communication due to which the implementation of the ERP and AMS was not successful. The factors though could be followed as it is the only resource for the completion of the project management successfully.


Abu-Shanab, E., Abu-Shehab, R. and Khairallah, M., 2015. Critical success factors for ERP implementation: The case of Jordan. The International Arab Journal of e-Technology, 4(1), pp.1-7.

Alreemy, Z., Chang, V., Walters, R. and Wills, G., 2016. Critical success factors (CSFs) for information technology governance (ITG). International Journal of Information Management, 36(6), pp.907-916.

Asgarkhani, M., Cater-Steel, A., Toleman, M. and Ally, M., 2017, December. Failed IT projects: is poor IT governance to blame?. In Proceedings of the 28th Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS 2017). Australian Association for Information Systems.

Burgan, B., 2015. Funding a viable and effective health sector in Australia. Adelaide: Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre, The University of Adelaide, pp.9-15.

Duffield, S. and Whitty, S.J., 2015. Developing a systemic lessons learned knowledge model for organisational learning through projects. International journal of project management, 33(2), pp.311-324.

Eden, R. and Sedera, D., 2014. The largest admitted IT project failure in the Southern Hemisphere: a teaching case. In Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Information Systems: Building a Better World Through Information Systems. AISeL.

Iqbal, N., Nadeem, W. and Zaheer, A., 2015. Impact of BPR critical success factors on inter-organizational functions: an empirical study. The Business & Management Review, 6(1), p.152.

Liu, J., Love, P.E., Smith, J., Regan, M. and Davis, P.R., 2014. Life cycle critical success factors for public-private partnership infrastructure projects. Journal of Management in Engineering, 31(5), p.04014073.

  1. Beheshti, H., K. Blaylock, B., A. Henderson, D. and G. Lollar, J., 2014. Selection and critical success factors in successful ERP implementation. Competitiveness review, 24(4), pp.357-375.

Mir, F.A. and Pinnington, A.H., 2014. Exploring the value of project management: linking project management performance and project success. International journal of project management, 32(2), pp.202-217.

Pecherskaya, E.P., Averina, L.V., Kamaletdinov, Y.A., Tretyakova, N.V. and Magomadova, T.L., 2016. Assessment of critical success factors transformation in ERP projects. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education, 11(7), pp.2608-2625.

Seddon, P. (2018). Lessons from the Packaged Enterprise Application Software “Go Live” Failures at Cambridge and RMIT Universities. [online] Available at: [email protected] [Accessed 7 Oct. 2018].

Tondeur, J., Forkosh-Baruch, A., Prestridge, S., Albion, P. and Edirisinghe, S., 2016. Responding to challenges in teacher professional development for ICT integration in education. Educational Technology and Society, 19(3), pp.110-120.