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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Re-escalation Cycles in Large Scale Government Information Systems

Re-escalation Cycles in Large Scale Government Information Systems
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Author(s): Mark R. Nelson (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA)and Taylor A. Smith (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 3
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch110
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330


Government agencies and private sector businesses have spent billions of dollars on failed large-scale system implementations. Many of these projects escalated beyond original budget and schedule constraints before being terminated. In some cases, due to business or operational requirements, these projects begin again, only to re-escalate. This study examined this cycle via the Tax Systems Modernization (TSM) project at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to learn about the processes that lead to re-escalation cycles in large-scale IT projects. Based on our analysis, we believe that external agencies may play a role in both escalation and de-escalation based on the nature of their respective recommendations. Escalation may also be influenced by an inability on the part of management to adequately set priorities or feedback controls stemming from an additional lack of overall strategy. Finally, our research supports previous ideas that administrative turnover, cost awareness, and external shocks may be lead catalysts for beginning a period of de-escalation.

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