The Danish Rejsekortet (Smart Card for Public Transportation); Project Governance for Failure or Success?

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The authors examine a project regarded as a major failure in Danish public investments: The Smart Card for Public Transportation whose introduction was delayed for 9 years with an estimated cost overrun of 125 million EURO. After 3 years of operation, the Smart Card system only covers seven of the nine Danish regions and the discussion about giving up the system is continuing. The authors explore the overall conditions set up for these types of projects in the project governance - how project governance conditions a major public IT project and forms the success evaluation. The focus is on the whole life-cycle from project initiation to long-term use of the smart card. We rely on theory building using three cases. The Danish Smart Card will be compared to two other cases - the Oyster Card in the London Metropolitan Area and the Singaporean EZ-Link Card. In all three cases, the focus is on the whole cycle from project initiation to long-term use of the project results. Data collection is through documentation as governmental reports and evaluations, for example (Rigsrevisionen, 2011; The Comptroller and Auditor General, 2006; Transport Committee, 2011)and semi-structured interviews. A framework for project governance in major public IT projects is developed based on a review of the relevant literature on major projects like analysis of deviations of forecasts and optimism bias (Budzier & Flyvbjerg, 2011; Flyvbjerg, 2006), and how to manage structural and dynamic complexity (Brady & Davies, 2014). Relevant project governance literature is also reviewed. Typically, these publications deal with the project implementation period (Ahola, Ruuska, Artto, & Kujala, 2013; Brady & Davies, 2014; Miller & Hobbs, 2005; Pryke & Pearson, 2006; Renz, 2007; Williams, Klakegg, Magnussen, & Glasspool, 2010; Winch, 2001). Another – smaller - group of scholars deals with the whole lifecycle from project generation to longer-term use of the project results (Ahola, Ruuska, Artto, & Kujala, 2010; Henisz, Levitt, & Scott, 2012; Henisz & Levitt, 2011; Klakegg, 2009).Most of these publications concern major infrastructural projects, not IT projects. The authors will close this gap by exploring how project governance affects the life-cycle of a major public IT project and forms the basis of its success evaluation. The analysis of governance in the case study projects – i.e. governance structure, decision processes, assumptions and governance institutions (Müller, 2009, 2011; Ward & Daniel, 2013; Williams & Samset, 2012), project strategy (Artto, Kujala, Dietrich, & Martinsuo, 2008; Eskerod, 2014), success criteria etc. - will provide insights that contribute to the literature on governance of major public IT projects and hopefully also will enrich the public discussion and evaluation of major IT projects in Denmark.
Publikationsdato7 aug. 2015
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 7 aug. 2015
Begivenhed23rd Nordic Academy of Management Conference: Business in Society - Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Danmark
Varighed: 12 aug. 201514 aug. 2015
Konferencens nummer: 23


Konference23rd Nordic Academy of Management Conference
LokationCopenhagen Business School


  • projektledelse
  • it projekter
  • project governance