Project Management Institute

Stress and coping

a study of project managers in a large ICT organization

The extraordinary demands of implementing complex information technology (IT) projects generate a great deal of stress. And although the literature has discussed the impact that this stress has on project performance, few studies have identified the factors causing such stress. This article examines the factors causing such stress and recommends coping strategies that IT professionals can use to more easily perform their responsibilities when under stress. In doing so, it overviews the impact that excessive stress has on organizations and industries; it reviews the literature on dealing with stress while managing IT projects. It then extends Gallstedt's research on the stress experienced by IT project managers to identify stress sources, coping strategies, and subsequent outcomes, as noted from studying 12 IT project managers working within an Australian ICT organization. It outlines the study's three-part methodology and explains the interview results.
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