The Purchase and Implementation of IT Solutions in Danish Municipalities: Challenges and Success Factors in the Planning and Execution of Public IT Projects

Michael Pieper

Student thesis: Master thesis


Purchasing and implementing new IT solutions in a municipality is a challenging process. Stories of failed IT projects in municipalities as well as other public organizations are commonly seen. This project researches the factors, which cause IT projects to fail in the purchasing and implementing phases, and how municipalities and IT providers can ensure successful IT solutions. Parasuraman et al.´s (1985) concept of defining quality as a gap between the customer´s expectations and perceptions sets the theoretical groundwork for the project. Additional literature on service quality and implementation models are applied to identify quality factors that can influence the success of IT projects. An explorative design is used in which the project defines hypotheses that are based on the context of the public IT sector and the theoretical background. The empirical case study refers to a document analyses and qualitative research methods in order to test the hypotheses. The data collection is focused on different units of analysis: Interviews with representatives of municipalities, IT providers and SKI are conducted to provide different perspectives and insights on the public IT sector. Based on the data collected in the case studies, the tender and implementation process for IT solutions are analyzed. The requirement specification in the tender process has been identified as a central factor, which can cause either the failure of IT projects or influence the success. Municipalities and IT providers try to overcome this challenge by different strategies as they: - improve their internal communication channels and invest resources to formulate a wellresearched requirement specification - avoid to organize their own call for tender and purchase a standardized IT solution – offered via SKI - use a different type of tender, which gives the option to develop the requirement specification together with the developer. Factors such as communication effectiveness, relationship management and the use of agile implementation models, which increase the success of IT projects, are often linked to the tender type, chosen by the municipality. The project shows how tender regulation can compromise the success of IT projects and that the resources of the municipality can be crucial for ensuring a successful project.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages84
SupervisorsKim Normann Andersen