Surviving It Project Cancellations

In a Forbes cover story, an investment banker expressed a preference for hiring former athletes, not because they are competitive, but "because they recycle so quickly after things go wrong" [12]. Their ability to quickly get past a failure, analyze what went wrong, and correctly adapt future performance is what sets them apart from other employees. While the ability to overcome adversity is a recognized skill of effective business professionals, its role has been neglected in the realm of IT project failures. This is unfortunate because failure is common: about 15% of all IT projects are canceled before completion [10], some with disastrous effects [1].


Author Archives

Research and Advances

An experimental program investigating color-enhanced and graphical information presentation: an integration of the findings

A series of three laboratory experiments were conducted to assess the influence of graphical and color-enhanced information presentation modes on decision quality, decision making time, use of information, and user perceptions. The experimental design allowed for the unconfounded study of line graphs and color using a variety of information presentation designs for the same decision making task. Based on the findings of these studies, propositions about the impact of graphics and color on individual decision makers are presented. The influence of presentation mode on human performance and the perceived value of information is related to how well it supports the solution approach to a particular task. The benefits of graphics are limited to reducing decision making time but only when the graphical report has been designed to directly assist in solving the task. Multicolor reports aid in decision making, but only in specific circumstances, that is, their benefits are not pervasive. It appears that color is more advantageous when associated with graphical reports, for certain decision maker types, during learning periods, and in time constrained environments.
Research and Advances

A critque of the stage hypothesis: theory and empirical evidence

The stage hypothesis on the assimilation of computing technology provides one of the most popular models for describing and managing the growth of administrative information systems. Despite little formal evidence of its reliability or robustness, it has achieved a high level of acceptance among practitioners. We describe and summarize the findings of seven empirical studies conducted during the past six years that tested various hypotheses derived from this model. The accumulation of evidence from these studies casts considerable doubt on the validity of the stage hypothesis as an explanatory structure for the growth of computing in organizations. 3~
Research and Advances

An experimental study of the human/computer interface

An exploratory study was conducted to analyze whether interface and user characteristics affect decision effectiveness and subject behavior in an interactive human/computer problem-solving environment. The dependent variables were performance and the use of the systems options. Two of the independent variables examined, experience and cognitive style, were user characteristics; the other three, dialogue, command, and default types, were interface characteristics. Results indicate that both user and interface characteristics influence the use of the system options and the request for information in the problem-solving task.

Shape the Future of Computing

ACM encourages its members to take a direct hand in shaping the future of the association. There are more ways than ever to get involved.

Get Involved