The Right Team for the Right JobInvestigating team competencies in library technology procurement projects

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Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economics and Social Studies

Original languageEnglish
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Award date2016
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Abstract

This study investigates success factors in library technology procurement
projects.

The constant evolution of the tools and technologies supporting services
is a testament to the general success of technology planning in libraries.
However, reports of repeated difficulties faced by institutions in selecting
technical solutions and vendors sustainably are often discussed in the
profession.

A literature review provided little evidence of an endemic problem in
library technology procurement projects. However, it was also found that
objective success measurement is rarely included in publications reporting
on such projects.

A mixed method study was therefore developed to collect recent project
information, using the DeLone and McLean framework for success
measurement, an approach that has been shown to place more emphasis
on end user impact. An online questionnaire was distributed to gather
quantitative data on project success, along with elements on procurement
methods used and the skills represented in project teams, with the intend
to determine to what extent these factors impact project success. A
series of interviews was also conducted to gather qualitative data to
further investigate this question.

Results showed that the type of procurement method employed had little
impact on project success. The composition of procurement teams was
however shown to have an influence. Procurement teams that include a
wider variety of staff representatives and diverse skillsets appear more
likely to contribute to successful projects. Further, it was determined that
the presence of IT specialists on project teams was more productive than
that of representatives from library management. Project management
and accessibility assessment were found to be the skills the most likely to
be associated with project success.

More generally, it was found that projects favouring flexible and modular
solutions, separating the procurement of base systems from the custom
local developments, and using agile development paradigms stood a
greater chance to succeed in the long term.