Success factors regarding the implementation of ICT investment projects (Milis & Mercken, 2002)

ITC Implementation in Banks CSF

Milis, Koen; Mercken, Roger: Success factors regarding the implementation of ICT investment projects; in: International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 80 (2002), No. 1, pp. 105-117.


Milis & Mercken outline critical success factors for IT implementation projects in banks and insurances. They did a literature review and qualitative field research.The authors describe 49 critical success factors falling into the categories of

  • Project selection
  • Project definition
  • Project plan
  • Management involvement and support
  • Project team
  • Change management
  • Project resources
  • Managing relationships

Building on these findings, Milis & Mercken build a framework of 4 categories of success factors. (1) factors that enhance goal congruence, (2) factors that are related with the project team, (3) factors that influence the acceptance of the project, and (4) elements of implementation politics.


The first category combines factors that influence goal congruency:

  • Good selection & justification practice
  • Scope/objectives/goals: defined and agreed upon
  • Criteria for judging success: defined and agreed upon
  • Business alignment

The second category contains factors of team management/leadership:

  • Realistic but challenging goals
  • Urgency built in
  • Evaluation and reward mechanisms in place.Effective communication and conflict control
  • Complementary skills (technical & social)
  • Select team players to staff the project team
  • Select a competent and experienced project manager

The third category focuses on the acceptance of deliverables:

  • Definition of the authority and responsibilities
  • User participation.
  • Training
  • Top management support
  • Continuous evaluation and debate among the different parties involved
  • Powerful project manager with sufficient social skills

The fourth category deals with the implementation politics and planning:

  • Functional decomposition
  • Proper level of detail
  • Sufficient resources to execute the tasks planned
  • Resources for change management & contingency planning
  • Built in resource buffers

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