Risk-Modelling at the Pre-Proposal Stages of eGovernment Services
  eGovernment is a relatively new, but rapidly expanding, domain;
mainly due to the perceived outcomes that it may bring to the
public administration. Founded on the premise that
eGovernment programmes may increase efficiency and
effectiveness, decrease costs and enhance the quality of public
services, governments invest heavily on such implementations.
But here is a perplexing contrast; so far, many of such projects
experience a high failure rate. That is realised in many facets;
endless delays, and excessive costs, or complete cancellations
are frequently observed. The reasons behind that can be many.
However, such situation may be avoided or at least better
handled through appropriate risk-based methods applied during
the early stages of eGovernment project considerations. Within
that context this thesis investigates the modelling of risk for
eGovernment projects at the early, pre-proposal stages.
The interpretative qualitative study described in this thesis
provides a 'first stab' in a previously weakly explored, but
important, area of eGovernment research. It is therefore the
main objective of this thesis to examine the relevance of risk
modelling during the pre-proposal phase of eGovernment service
projects. To achieve that objective, this thesis devises and
employs a risk modelling tool; a design that incorporates an
e5ervke model and eGovernment risk taxonomy, allowing its
users to identify pertinent project risk statements that may be
exploited at later risk assessment exercises.
So as to accomplish the defined objective, this thesis is arranged
in an order that covers all stages of the research process. These
include an understanding of the eGovernment domain by
expanding - amongst others - on the various eGovernment
modelling, evolution, and evaluation methods as well as a
discussion on eGovernment benefits, and its failure factors.
Equally, a part is dedicated on elaborating upon eGovernment risk and the existing methods to model it. A prototype risk
modelling tool is developed in order to be used as a probe that is
assessed and evaluated in the field by domain experts and
practitioners. The thesis concludes by gathering qualitative data
and analysing the grounded findings received from a series of
interviews and workshops.
With reference to the findings addressing the thesis' main
research question, the conducted study shows that risk modelling
has effectively no applicability during the pre-proposal stages of
eGovernment service projects. This study argues that although
risk modelling has a recognised value, employing it is really
futile at such early phase. It is primarily so, because at that
point risk does not appear to carry enough weight to influence
the decision-making process. Equally, this research finds that it
is the political leadership that hands down the project ideas and
the IT/IS project management staff simply implement. Even if
risk modelling tools were employed by the ITIIS project
management staff, the risk modelling output would be pointless
as they have limited input into the decision-making process.
The study's findings also led this thesis to produce a conceptual
framework for risk modelling, as well as relevant lessons to be
learnt. The thesis elaborates on what risk modelling is expected
to deliver and how it should look like. The findings have also
further enhanced the risk modelling tool developed for this
research, and generally propose new avenues for further
research work in the domain.

  • Dates:

    2002 to 2007

  • Qualification:

    Doctorate (PhD)

Project Team