Information Technology Project Management within the Marshall University Computing Services Department: An Analysis




Terri L. Tomblin-Byrd





Capstone Project submitted to the faculty of the College of Information Technology &


Engineering and Marshall University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the


degree of





Master of Science




Technology Management








Dr. Bernard Gillespie


Dr. James Hooper


Dr. William Pierson








Fall, 2000


Marshall University


Huntington, West Virginia


Information Technology Project Management within the Marshall University


Computing Services Department: An Analysis



Tern L. Tomblin-Byrd






This research project addresses the issues affecting information technology (if) project management. The issues represented in this study are addressed in the context of if implementation and maintenance, especially with regard to the question of the needs and perceptions of employees within Marshall University Computing Services. In addition, this study will provide an exploratory look at the problematic issues surrounding management of if implementation projects and how Computing Services employees perceive them.


More specifically, this study provides the following: a discussion of management and organizational issues that have a direct relationship to if implementation needs; a discussion of the problems which are specific to Computing Services with regard to if implementation; a comprehensive view of the principal problems associated with managing the IT implementation and maintenance process in organizations; descriptive data revealing Computing Services employee perceptions about the issues surrounding project management and the organization’s culture; and a basis for development of an if project management methodology suitable for the Computing Services organizational culture. Each of these provisions is integral to developing a comprehensive understanding of the problems associated with managing the implementation and maintenance of ifs in higher education institutions. These provisions lay the foundations for future development of an IT project management methodology for Computing Services.


The research in this study suggests that a standardized project management methodology for IT is fundamental to the ultimate effectiveness of if implementation. Project management has proven to be a difficult accomplishment regardless of organization type or culture. This study specifically addresses many of the issues





surrounding this problem, as it is integral to the project management process as a whole. Secondly, it is shown that communication and collaboration are major factors in effective if project management.


Current industry trends have shown a propensity towards centralization and standardization of an organization’s project management process. This trend speaks directly to the issue of interdepartmental coordination, communication, and the difficulties Computing Services managers face when attempting to implement and maintain technologies. Finally, it is shown that the expertise levels of employees with regard to project management tools and techniques has proven to be a contributing factor to the effectiveness of Computing Services’ project management process.






















Table of Contents


Abstract                                                                                                                    page(s) ii-iii


Acknowledgements                                                                                                       page(s) iv



Table of Contents                                                                                                      page(s) v-vi


Chapter 1: Introduction                                                                                          page(s) 1-7

      •       Purpose of Analysis
•       Research Questions
•       Problem Statement
•       Description of Issues
•       Significance of Study


Chapter 2: Literature Review                                                                                   page(s) 8-25


Section 1


•      General Background Literature


•       IT Implementation


•       Project Management


Section 2


•      Organizational Structures and Personnel


•      Organizational Environment


•      Project Management Practices & Tools


Chapter 3: Methodology                                                                           page(s) 26-33


•      Introduction


•      Basic Approach to the Research


•      Research Methodology






•      Survey Sample and Population

  • Statistical Analysis

•      Limitations and Assumption

Chapter 4: Results and Data Analysis                                                                  page(s) 34-70


•       Introduction


•       Issues Categorization


•       Survey Respondents


•       Analysis of General if Data


•       Analysis of Primary if Data


•       Case Studies



Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations                                                                      page(s) 71-81


•      Introduction


•      Conclusions


•      Recommendations




End Notes and other Contributing References                                                       page(s) 82-85



Appendix A  (Computing Services Organizational Structure)                                 page(s) 86

Appendix B   (Corporate Culture Comparison)                                                                                   page(s) 87

Appendix C   (Project Management Software Packages)                                                                   page(s) 88

Appendix D   (Case Studies)                                                                                                                     page(s) 89-101

Appendix E   (Survey Responses and Frequency)                                                                                page(s) 102-139

Appendix F    (Project Management Procedure Outline)                                                                   page(s) 140-141