Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Matthew Knight


Lack of effective cost containment strategies to support enterprise resource planning (ERP) system implementations within higher education institutions (HEIs) result in budget overruns 50% of the time. Grounded in Gartner’s IT cost containment techniques, the purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore strategies HEI project directors use to support a successful ERP implementation on time and within budget. The participants comprised 5 project directors and managers from HEIs and another public organization in the state of Washington. Data were collected from semistructured interviews, archival data, and organization documents. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data, and 4 themes emerged: project governance and project management office, resource allocation, vendor negotiation, and organizational change management. A key finding is the importance of including the project director in the vendor contract negotiations; thus, projector directors should be involved in the vendor contract negotiations. The implications for positive social change include the potential for improved student access to educational services and improved capacity for knowledge integration and transfer to benefit local communities.