Project Management Institute

The roles of user and sponsor in MIS projects

Although most project management researchers and practitioners cite that users of management information systems (MIS) should participate in the development and implementation of these technologies, the field lacks information describing how MIS users can contribute to systems development projects and how MIS sponsors can work with users to implement such projects. This article examines a normative model outlining the roles users and sponsors could play when developing and implementing MIS projects. In doing so, it examines the literature defining the concepts of user and sponsor and identifies the need requiring user participation in MIS development projects--and detailing the normative model's four defining elements: system quality, organizational perception, organizational acceptance, and system life cycle. It also discusses a user and sponsor selection process, one that based on three factors--problem structure, project scope, and relative technology--and describes three project management processes that practitioners should integrate into the normative model. Accompanying this article are two sidebars: the first compares the different motivational roles and the cognitive functions of users and sponsors; the second lists the functions that users and sponsors often play while working on project teams.
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