Prototyping is often presented as a universal solution to many intractable information systems project problems. Prototyping is known to offer at least three advantages (1) provide users with a concrete understanding, (2) eliminate the confusion, (3) cope with uncertainty. On the other hand, managing the explorative and iterative aspects of prototyping projects is not a trivial task. We examine the managerial challenges in a small scale prototyping project in the Danish healthcare sector where a prototype breakdown and project escalation occurs. From this study we derive a framework of strategies for coping with escalation in troubled prototyping projects; the framework is based on project management triangle theory and is useful when considering how to manage prototype breakdown and escalation. All strategies were applied in the project case at different points in time. The strategies led to partial recovery of the project but not until several coping strategies had been tried.
Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2009