George Allan

Please Note

ALERT! This person can no longer be contacted through the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Victoria University of Wellington

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Research Interests

Dr Allan has 2 research strands. One is the technical area of Project Management (PM) especially IT and Computer projects, investigating the Critical Success Factors (CSF) that influence people in project work such as how and why they use Systems Life Cycle Models, how and why people use/don't use Risk Management for project success and how and why people use/don't use Change Management. The other research strand is the epistemology of how people build Knowledge, both personal and institutional. This is an integral part of how people learn and perform their work.

Visit project management web site to find more about his research.

Dr Allan will consider Directing the Studies and supervising PhD research into the following areas:

Areas suitable for PhD students

Systems Life Cycle Paradigms

  • An investigation is needed at PhD level into Project and Systems Development Life Cycle Paradigms, especially their conceptual and theoretical basis, their strengths and weaknesses when applied to commercial projects and systems.


Risk Management

  • Risk Management (RM) has been around for a long time but still many businesses, companies and government departments resist the huge benefits from applying RM. An investigation into resistance factors is needed leading to better ways to control projects by recognizing and minimizing risks. The underpinning theory of Risk Management and a comparative study of business/industrial practices is needed. Initia; questions might include how theories stand up to application; how do practitioners cope with risks in their world of project development and meeting milestones and deadlines. Later in-depth questions would investigate why these things happen


Change Management

  • The theory and practice of Change Management for IS/IT/ICT systems within commercial or business organizations


Double Loop Learning

  • An investigation into double-loop learning in ICT departments of commercial organizations. Are these departments learning departments? If not why not? How do these ICT departments become more learning-orientated? What are the costs and the benefits? What is the underlying theory and can it be validated and improved?.

Publications

For a list of publications see the Publications Database.

Additional Publications

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Biography

Dr George Allan had 18 years commercial/industrial experience as an IT Systems Analyst, Project Leader and Project Manager before joining the School of Computing, University of Portsmouth to develop courses in IT Project Management. He insists on relating practice to theory and theory to practice and maintains a high level of competence and professional knowledge by combining active research in IS Development with active consultancy in requirements gathering, design, development and implementation of Information Systems (IS) for business and industry. He assists Executive Directors and Chief Information Officers formulate IT/IS strategies.

His knowledge of IS/IT Strategy, Project Management, Risk Management and Change Management has resulted in invitations to give presentations at The University of The Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; at Jilin University, China; at UNITEC in Auckland, New Zealand. He has given research presentations in Thessaloniki Greece; Washington DC and Tampa, USA; the University of Auckland New Zealand; at Auckland University of Technology New Zealand; UNITEC New Zealand; University Putra Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur; Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and the Technical University in Sofia Bulgaria

Dr Allan was the founding chair of the Information Systems Development Research Group. He was leader of the IT Business Advisory Group which aligned content of computing courses with the needs of commerce, business and industry.

He has had 5 awards for his methods of engaging students in their own learning. In 2008 he was made a SCEPTrE Fellowship at the UK University of Surrey for his research and success in the field of Enquiry-Based Learning. SCEPTrE stands for Surrey Centre for Excellence in Professional Training and Education.

In 2006 he was awarded the Teaching and Learning Fellowship of the University of Portsmouth in the UK, for his contribution to engaging students in their own learning. In 2004 he was a finalist in the Engineering Learning & Teaching Support Network scheme; in 2002 he recieved a research grant from the Learning and Teaching Development Fund and in 2001 he won a research award from the HE Academy for research into Student Centred Learning.

His students include work-based learners at middle and senior management levels in companies throughout the world as well as full-time and part-time BSc, MSc and PhD students at many universities. Dr Allan involves them all in reflective thinking and critical thinking of the many practical issues in Information Technology and Information Systems. He then leads them into critical reflection on the issues and problems of relating theory and practice, thereby leading to deeper learning.

Dr Allan had 18 years experience as an IT Systems Analyst, Project Leader and Project Manager before joining the University of Portsmouth School of Computing to develop courses in IT/IS Project Management. He insists on relating practice to theory and theory to practice and maintains a high level of competence and professional knowledge by combining active research in IS Development with active consultancy in requirements, design, development and implementation of Information Systems for business and industry. He assists Executive Directors and Chief Information Officers formulate IT/IS strategies.

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Fellow of the British Computer Society
  • Fellow of the New Zealand Computer Society now The Institute for Information Technology Professionals
  • Fellow of the UK HIgher Education Academy
  • Chartered Engineer
  • Chartered IT Practitioner.

He has held the following academic posts:
  • Visiting Professor in Systems Analysis & Design at Syracuse University, USA;
  • Visiting Lecturer in Project Management at The University of The Witwatersrand, South Africa;
  • Visiting Lecturer in Software Engineering Project Management at Jilin University, China;
  • Visiting Academic at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

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