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An Analysis of the Effect of Environmental and Systems Complexity on Information Systems Failures

Description: Companies have invested large amounts of money on information systems development. Unfortunately, not all information systems developments are successful. Software project failure is frequent and lamentable. Surveys and statistical analysis results underscore the severity and scope of software project failure. Limited research relates software structure to information systems failures. Systematic study of failure provides insights into the causes of IS failure. More importantly, it contributes to better monitoring and control of projects and enhancing the likelihood of the success of management information systems. The underlining theories and literature that contribute to the construction of theoretical framework come from general systems theory, complexity theory, and failure studies. One hundred COBOL programs from a single company are used in the analysis. The program log clearly documents the date, time, and the reasons for changes to the programs. In this study the relationships among the variables of business requirements change, software complexity, program size and the error rate in each phase of software development life cycle are tested. Interpretations of the hypotheses testing are provided as well. The data shows that analysis error and design error occur more often than programming error. Measurement criteria need to be developed at each stage of the software development cycle, especially in the early stage. The quality and reliability of software can be improved continuously. The findings from this study suggest that it is imperative to develop an adaptive system that can cope with the changes to the business environment. Further, management needs to focus on processes that improve the quality of the system design stage.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Zhang, Xiaoni

IS-MBNQA: A new framework for the relationship between Information Systems and organizational quality.

Description: Despite numerous frameworks and models proposed in the literature, Information Systems (IS) assessment still remains elusive. In addition, little agreement exists on the contribution of the IS function within an organization and on how IS is related to the other organizational dimensions. Frameworks that show the relationship between IS and the organization are in the developmental stage and this work proposes a more comprehensive framework to assist in better understanding the relationship between IS and organizational quality. This research examines two popular IS quality assessment frameworks - Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) and Information Systems Assessment (ISA) - and suggests a new framework, IS-MBNQA. This work integrates these two IS quality assessment frameworks into a single comprehensive model that provides a holistic view on how IS quality is interrelated to organizational quality. The existing two IS assessment frameworks attempted to measure IS quality at different levels within an organization. The MBNQA model is the most comprehensive quality framework because it takes an organization wide perspective. On the other hand, ISA employs an IS specific perspective and reflects the relationships of eight major IS success dimensions. ISA is a modified version of DeLone & McLean's model with the inclusion of a success factor for Service Quality. For this study, survey instruments are developed from the MBNQA and ISA frameworks and they are consolidated to allow testing of the single IS-MBNQA framework. Exploratory factor analysis is performed for instrument refinement and confirmatory factor analysis for validity of the models. The instruments developed in this work are utilized as a foundation for identifying the relationships among the dimensions within and between each model. A major contribution of this work is the validation of the 2000 MBNQA model and the extension of existing models/frameworks to better explain the IS contribution to an organization.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Chong, Hyonsong