The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation provides critical perspectives on topics relevant to Information Systems Evaluation, with an emphasis on the organisational and management implications
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Journal Article

The Project Objectives Measurement Model (POMM): an Alternative View to Information Systems Project Measurement  pp185-200

Corlane Barclay, Kweku-Muata Osei-Bryson

© Nov 2008 Volume 11 Issue 3, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp109 - 212

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Abstract

The information systems (IS) project management profession has been faced with numerous socio‑technical challenges. As part of its analysis, research has expressed discontent with the traditional measures used to assess the success or failure of these projects, i.e. conformance to time, schedule and specification requirements espoused by the project management (PM) standard bodies. Despite this, research has also revealed that industry continues to place high reliance on this approach in determining the outcome of their projects. These developments imply, in part, a misalignment between research and practice and a scarcity of appropriate measurement tools that are aligned to the realities of different project contexts. The research presents a Project Objectives Measurement Model (POMM) that attempts to address some of these concerns through the development of project measures that are aligned to key project stakeholders' values and objectives within the unique project contexts. It is argued that objectives are the key performance criteria of the project hence measures must be aligned to these criteria and formal procedures should be in place to assure that these objectives and measures are carefully developed and reflective of the persons to which the project matters, the stakeholders. The POMM is grounded on several principles of the Value Focused Thinking (VFT) and Goal Question Metric (GQM) techniques. The evaluation of the proposed model was performed in two parts: a team of industry experts examined the principles of model and provided feedback on its practicability to practice, and a case study of a Caribbean educational institution's IS graduate programme development was used to illustrate the procedures of the model. The research provides theoretical and practical implications for IS evaluation particularly within the project management and performance measurement domains. The research aims to extend the debate on suitable evaluation methods for IS projects while providing project practitioners with an alternative approach that can enhance their decision making processes during the life of the project.

 

Keywords: IS project, project objectives measurement model, POMM, success criteria, IS project management, Caribbean

 

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Journal Article

Economic Desirability and Traceability of Complex Products  pp201-212

Mordechai Ben-Menachem, Ilanit Gavious

© Nov 2008 Volume 11 Issue 3, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp109 - 212

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Abstract

The real values and benefits of Information Technologies are difficult to quantify and frequently even to identify accurately. Existing financial models such as Net Present Value have proven insufficient for complex products, for long‑ term corporate goals. IS projects and software‑rich products are decided upon while ignoring critical financial aspects, as the distance between the corporate product vision and the reality that engineers see may be very large. This paper maps between economics vis‑à‑vis IS‑based product management via an inter‑disciplinary approach, looking at the needs and exigencies of corporate management, IS project, products and software engineering. The basis for the article is a discussion of the difficulties in evaluation of the economic desirability of complex, software‑ rich products. It presents a dynamic corporate‑level model for economic profit evaluation designed to deal with the unique characteristics of such products, over many variants and versions, and the entire lifecycle. Given the extreme uncertainty of costs, benefits, risks and timeframes projections, the model facilitates real time reporting via an information system designed for management of Products, Portfolios and Projects. Whereas existing project management techniques such as Earned Value Management provide a general basis for managing project level activity, our model provides a longer‑term view to assess economic affects of corporate strategies over time. This is provided by a dynamic, Management Information System based aggregation of all product information, over an entire product lifecycle, with the objective to provide a knowledge base for corporate dynamic decision‑making. Concomitantly, the model fulfils Sarbanes‑Oxley Act of 2002 requirements for management assertion traceability of valid and accurate measures. These aspects co‑joined, from Sarbanes‑Oxley, back through multiple products, over myriad versions, and through automated requirements, design and testing tools, all combine to form an auditable management feedback loop that can be leveraged at multiple corporate management levels. The paper represents a significant step towards quality product decision‑making via a model that is meaningful, while also useful as it is leveraged through an automated tool set.

 

Keywords: economic profit, information systems, IS management, IS evaluation, product management, project management, traceability

 

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Journal Article

A Case Study of SME Web Application Development Effectiveness via Agile Methods  pp13-26

Peter Clutterbuck, Terry Rowlands, Owen Seamons

© Jan 2009 Volume 12 Issue 1, ECIME 2008, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 118

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Abstract

The development of Web applications is an important focus of the modern information enabled organization — whether the Web application development is in‑house, outsourced, or purchased as 'commercial‑off‑the‑shelf' (COTS) software. Traditionally Web application development has been delivered via the dominant waterfall system. The waterfall system relies upon well‑defined governance structures, linear phases, gating, and extensive reporting and sign‑off documentation. An increasing number of development stakeholders criticise the waterfall system for web application development. The criticisms include a disproportionate focus on governance and process at the direct expense of flexibility and, most importantly, reduced productivity. One consequence of these criticisms is the increasing adoption of Web application development via agile‑system methods. This agile‑system approach centres upon smaller design teams, fewer development phases, and shorter development time tables. This case study examines the implementation of the agile‑system approach as used by a Small‑to‑Medium Enterprise (SME) software developer. The case study data collection involves interviews and observations across three different SME sources: project managers, Web application programmers, and customers. The case study analysis synthesises the experiences of these managers, programmers and customers to produce an overall assessment of the usefulness of Web application delivery via agile‑system methods. The major conclusions from the case study are that a 'default' agile‑system approach may be tailored or fine‑tuned to fit an individual developer's software process. This tailoring is based upon the developer's assessment of best practice from the overall agile‑system methodology. This tailoring, however, delivers a software development process that exhibits efficiencies and risks. The efficiencies include a more fulfilling role for each development team member, greater richness and continuity in design, a simple management system that delivers key information on a timely basis to all stake‑holders, and increased business and technical quality within the delivered application, and a relatively low cost for actioning changes to user requirements. The risks pivot upon experience levels, skills levels, and the quality of interaction within — and between ‑ both the development team and customer organization.

 

Keywords: project management, information systems management, methodology, agile-system

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 11 Issue 3 / Nov 2008  pp109‑212

Editor: Dan Remenyi

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Keywords: B2C e-commerce, boundary objects, business-to-business integration, Caribbean, data functionality , data ownership, DeLone and McLean, developing countries, e-commerce success, economic profit, electronic surveys, evaluation methodology, Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC), information and communication technologies (ICT), inter-organizational data integration problems, IS evaluation, IS management, IS outsourcing , IS Project Management, IS success, Middle East, multi-method, Oman, product management, project management, Project Objectives Measurement Model (POMM), service levels, SERVQUAL, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SME, success criteria, systems science, systems thinking, traceability, WWW, service-quality

 

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