A Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Model for Selecting a Maturity Model

A Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Model for Selecting a Maturity Model

João Batista Sarmento dos Santos-Neto, Ana Paula Cabral Seixas Costa
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJDSST.319305
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This paper proposes a decision model for a maturity model choice problem via the multiple-criteria decision analysis method. The authors implemented the model in FITradeoff decision support system to select a project management maturity model for a Brazilian industry operating in the sector of distributing natural gas. FITradeoff is a flexible and interactive procedure of elicitation for multi-criteria additive models that requires only partial information from the decision maker (i.e., there is no need to elicit very detailed information from the decision maker, an approach that the decision maker can find laborious and tiring). The authors observed that the use of a multi-criteria approach imposes certain rigor and pattern on the decision process to select a maturity model in project management. Applying the model enabled comparison of information from the four maturity models and therefore selecting a project management maturity model based on the decision-maker preferences.
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When an organization needs to decide which domain to improve, many different directions may be taken. There are a number of different changes that are possible since, in many cases, it is unclear exactly how to modify a process (Helgesson et al., 2012). That is, is not easy to decide how to change a process in the best way possible. In order to ease the decision-making process, maturity models (MMs) are used. MMs accept that expected patterns (theorised in stages) exist in the development of organizations and aid organizations to direct their improvement plans (Gottschalk & Solli-Saether, 2006).

Studies have reported that, in some cases, there is more than one model for the same domain (Wendler, 2012; Santos-Neto & Costa, 2019). The large number of models for the same domain may hinder the decision by which MM best aligns with organizational objectives. One way to solve this problem is to use multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) methods. MCDM is a methodology for selecting alternatives according to several independent criteria (Wang et al., 2006; Shen et al., 2015). MCDM methods admit a systematic view of the problem assessing its positive and negative characteristics comparatively (Lacerda, Santos-Neto & Martins, 2021). Besides that, allow to making a decision by choosing the best one from a set of options in the attendance of multiple and conflict attributes (Lu et al., 2009).

MCDM methods are efficient in comparing alternatives via multiple attributes allowing the combination of both subjective and objective attributes (Monat, 2009; Rodrigues et al., 2022). Hence, MCDM methods can support the Decision Maker (DM) in a problem concerning a choice of MMs by comparing information and characteristics from the MMs through of a set of attributes. Therefore, this study proposes a solution to an MM choice problem within the Project Management (PM) domain that involves using an MCDM method. As shown in Santos-Neto & Costa (2019), the PM domain has a greater number of published papers on MM than other domains. In other words, demonstrating the applicability of MMs in the PM domain is one of the approaches that stands out most in the MM literature.

In addition, in order to achieve the objective of this study, FITradeoff was the MCDM method selected to choose among MMs. FITradeoff is a decision support method that, by using multi-criteria analysis and a DM’s preferences, enables the selection process to be carried out flexibly and interactively when assessing a set of alternatives with multiple criteria (Almeida et al., 2016; Souza Ribeiro et al., 2021). Its flexible and interactive application allows paths to be built in accordance with the DM’s responses. The solution can be found at any time and the procedure terminated. Therefore, the FITradeoff method was chosen because it requires less effort on the part of the DM, thereby facilitating the choice process, and can be implemented in an easy-to-use Decision Support System (DSS).

The proposed model was applied to a real problem in a Brazilian organization which processes and distributes natural gas. It engages in projects related to technological research and the infrastructure needed to acquire, store, and transport natural gas. Its managerial practices focus on project management. However, it does not yet forecast and monitor the maturity of its activities related to project management, which justifies selecting a tool that supports PM decisions.

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