Involving End Users to Mitigate Risk in IS Development Projects

Involving End Users to Mitigate Risk in IS Development Projects

Chintan Amrit (Department of Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems, School of Management and Governance, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands), Jos van Hillegersberg (Department of Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems, School of Management and Governance, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands) and Bart van Diest (First Consulting B.V., Enschede, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/joeuc.2013070105
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

In this paper the authors aim to gain insight into the relationship between user participation modes and project risk factors, and then they constructed a model that can be used to determine how user participation can be successfully applied in ISD projects with a given set of risk factors. The authors performed an in-depth literature review, which aims to clarify the concept of user participation as part of risk management. They then report on the results of a case study in Cap Gemini where we conduct an exploratory research of the application of user participation in practice. For this exploratory research, a quantitative and qualitative research method was designed in the form of a survey and interviews. Through the results from their case study, the authors gained insight into the relationship between user participation and IS project risk and also determine how user participation can be used to mitigate such risk.
Article Preview

Introduction

A great deal of research has been done on what causes high rates of failure in Information System Development (ISD) projects, and on how they can be prevented. One of the most important causes for failure found in these researches is the lack of user participation in ISD projects (CHAOS Chronicles, 2003; He & King, 2008; Ives & Olson, 1984). User participation can be defined as the “participation in the system development process by representatives of the target user group” ((Ives & Olson, 1984), p. 587) and is extensively covered in Information System (IS) literature (Garrity, 1963; King & Cleland, 1971; Steinbart & Accola, 1994). In fact, Hwang and Thorn (1999) even state that it is the most widely discussed topic in IS literature. One might expect that all this research had resulted in a clear understanding of the concept of user participation, its application and its results. However, and unfortunately, this is not the case; studies on the effect of user participation on system outcomes are inconclusive and often contradicting (Ives & Olson, 1984; Lynch & Gregor, 2004), and the issues of when user participation should be applied and how user participation should be organized, are often vaguely covered and mostly separately in different articles.

The application of user participation in ISD is another topic without a clear understanding in literature. In this perspective, who should participate and how should the user participation be applied in ISD projects is unclear from literature. The question of who should participate has not received much attention in literature (Choe, 1998; Hsu, Chan, Liu, & Chen, 2008; Yetton, Martin, Sharma, & Johnston, 2000). There is not much consent among the authors who do discuss it, as answers to this question vary, from involving only a few expert users (Hwang & Thorn, 1999), to involving all stakeholders of the new IS (Doll & Deng, 1999). The ‘how’ question refers to the phases of the ISD process in which users should participate, as well as the role of the participating users in these phases (Lin & Shao, 2000; Lynch & Gregor, 2004). The suggestions given by different authors diverge. Some authors, like Yetton et al. (2000), suggest that users should participate in the requirement phase, so they have a large influence on the functionality of the system. Other authors, like Hsu et al. (2008), suggest that users should participate in reviewing the system, so that they can check the systems usability and indicate whether the system meets the expectations. Choe (1998) proposes that users should not participate in the technical phases, because their lack of technical know-how can only impair the process. On the other hand, other authors suggest that users should participate in all project phases in order to maximize the user satisfaction (Lin & Shao, 2000; Lynch & Gregor, 2004). There is also no consensus on the results or effect of user participation in ISD projects. Researchers find different results (Brodbeck, 2001; He & King, 2008; Heinbokel, Sonnentag, Frese, Stolte, & Brodbeck, 1996; Ives & Olson, 1984; McKeen, Guimaraes, & Wetherbe, 1994), and, although most are positive, there is still a lack of consistent empirical data to support these claims (Gallivan & Keil, 2003). Hence, effect of user participation on project success is under-researched and there is an incomplete understanding of the kind of user participation and the impact of such user participation on the success of an ISD project.

Complete Article List

Search this Journal:
Reset
Open Access Articles: Forthcoming
Volume 30: 4 Issues (2018): 1 Released, 3 Forthcoming
Volume 29: 4 Issues (2017)
Volume 28: 4 Issues (2016)
Volume 27: 4 Issues (2015)
Volume 26: 4 Issues (2014)
Volume 25: 4 Issues (2013)
Volume 24: 4 Issues (2012)
Volume 23: 4 Issues (2011)
Volume 22: 4 Issues (2010)
Volume 21: 4 Issues (2009)
Volume 20: 4 Issues (2008)
Volume 19: 4 Issues (2007)
Volume 18: 4 Issues (2006)
Volume 17: 4 Issues (2005)
Volume 16: 4 Issues (2004)
Volume 15: 4 Issues (2003)
Volume 14: 4 Issues (2002)
Volume 13: 4 Issues (2001)
Volume 12: 4 Issues (2000)
Volume 11: 4 Issues (1999)
Volume 10: 4 Issues (1998)
Volume 9: 4 Issues (1997)
Volume 8: 4 Issues (1996)
Volume 7: 4 Issues (1995)
Volume 6: 4 Issues (1994)
Volume 5: 4 Issues (1993)
Volume 4: 4 Issues (1992)
Volume 3: 4 Issues (1991)
Volume 2: 4 Issues (1990)
Volume 1: 3 Issues (1989)
View Complete Journal Contents Listing