Moi University was established in 1984 and its first decade of growth and expansion necessitated the adoption and utilisation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to manage information generated by its operations. Through Dutch Joint Financing Programme for Cooperation in Higher Education (MHO) and other donors’ assistance, it established an ICT centre charged with, among other functions, initiation and development of information systems, including the Academic Register Information System (ARIS). Many challenges slowly cropped up and choked ARIS and other systems before implementation. This study was undertaken to ascertain and investigate issues that led to pre-implementation failure of information systems in one of Kenya’s public universities, using a case study of Moi University. This paper presents the views of Moi University’s ARIS and other Information System (IS) project participants on the factors that led to their systems’ failure to reach their operational phase. Although the findings may sound critical of certain aspects of IS and general organisational management at Moi University (MU), they provide real examples of what can happen to IS projects in practice. They provide valuable opportunities for learning, especially in typical sub-Saharan Africa’s public universities.
Key words: Pre-implementation failure, failure factors, information systems development, public university, Kenya.
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