Large IT projects, such as the US Government's Internal Revenue Service Business Modernization Effort, can take a decade or more and consume billions of dollars. Traditional approaches to the study of such projects emphasize concerns such as monitoring requirements and tracking progress. We propose an alternative approach guided by a digital ecosystems view instead of a hierarchical, decision-oriented view. We argue that a digital ecosystem perspective is more suited to understand how such projects evolve and cause changes in the underlying digital ecosystem characterized by not only the IT infrastructure but also the transactional relationships among stakeholders. We illustrate our arguments by drawing on an archaeological case study of the IRS effort, and discuss implications of the digital ecosystem perspective for the study of large IT projects.