IT Project Development using Capability Maturity Model

IT Project Development using Capability Maturity Model

Mousumi Kabir (School of Information and Communication Technology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden) and Lazar Rusu (Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IRMJ.2016100103


In many research studies on IT project development process, the authors have noticed that different frameworks are used for this purpose. In fact, many companies choose specific frameworks to run their IT projects based on project type and face dissimilar problems during the execution. In this research the authors are presenting a framework for IT project development using Capability Maturity Model. The framework has been developed to improve the IT project development in a large company because of the lower rate of successfully IT projects in that company. To develop the framework, they have used design science research and evaluated this framework with the project managers from that large company. The result of this research is a framework for IT projects development that is based on generic Capability Maturity Model and is adapted to the specific needs of an IT project development environment. Moreover, the framework identifies for each key process area of IT project development, the goals and activities to be performed.
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In today’s business world it is important for every organization to have a well-defined project management process and to follow that process strictly to achieve the best result (Lewis, 2007). It is also very significant to pursue a well-recognized method to run IT projects successfully within agreed time, budget and quality. Moreover, a well-organized IT project development framework helps a company to improve its productivity as well as the business competitiveness and provide better services for their customers (Haugan, 2011). But it is impossible to have one process for all type of IT projects like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), sourcing, HR (Human Resources) and so on. Depending on project size and others criteria, organizations choose agile, waterfall or other models to complete their projects (Charvat, 2003). PM Solution of Project Management Institute Inc. illustrates that on average 37% of projects failed each year (PM Solutions, 2011). They also mention five reasons for why projects failed which are related to poor requirements, managing resources, impractical schedules, weak planning and unrevealed risks. To become successful in IT project development, it’s important to have a clear idea on these five failure issues and to take necessary steps to overcome it. Experienced project teams adopt waterfall model while their clients know accurately what they desire and nothing changes other than fixing problems. On the other hand, when project scope is not fixed and the feedback requires from the client to proceed on, the next steps are the selection of an agile model that can provide the best results (Stober & Hansmann, 2010). Therefore, the project manager needs to have a clear idea about the differences between project lifecycle and system development lifecycle. Project models are important for system development whereas time, cost and quality issues are mainly related with project lifecycles (Cadle & Yeates, 2008). Often requirements are not possible to be defined at the beginning of the project, which makes the project development more complicated. Depending on different situations, project managers faced different complexities that require vast knowledge and experience to overcome that situation. That’s why an IT project framework is so important to run projects successfully within a defined time, cost and quality. A project framework is an organized approach to present clarity the project’s objectives with a sequence of checkpoints at which advancement and consequence is possible to review and check. Moreover, it provides a set of procedures for daily management of project group including roles and responsibilities of key project members (Harrison & Lock, 2004). The development of the IT project framework has been done in a company entitled Company A (due to confidentiality it is not possible to mention the company name) that has as major business objective to be the best in service and project delivery process. In fact, Company A is a large European company and its running their business successfully for a long time. According to European Commission classification, Company A is a large company because is having more than 250 employees and has annual turnover more than 50 million EUR (European Commission, 2012). Our research has analyzed all the IT projects in Company A from the year 2010 run by the project management group. This group is responsible to continually improve the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of the operations and its deliverables. They perform this development through management of scorecard, performance measurements and continuous improvement activities within processes. As we have noticed many research papers have focused on the problems on project management process, development of project models and methods, project management organizations culture and so on (Lilliesköld, 2002). On the other hand, researchers like Jianbin et al. (2009) have developed a heavyweight IT project management framework based on agile method that is focusing on complexity product system of an IT project. Moreover, Ulusoy and Özdamar (1996) have proposed a framework that is suitable for interactive project scheduling system with limited resource while Andersson (2005) has proposed a framework that is focusing on project result improvement. Lodhi et al. (2013) has developed a test management framework addressing the requirements of testing from the strategic to operational level for project managers and test team of projects. Stewart (2008) has proposed a structured framework for the life cycle management of innovative IT projects consisting of three modules: IT project selection, strategic IT implementation and IT performance evaluation. All these frameworks are suitable more or less for specific type of projects. More exactly it is possible to say that these frameworks work for a specific purpose. But in order to address the problem regarding the project failures in Company A, none of these frameworks for IT project development can support the specific needs of this research. Therefore, in this paper we will present a framework for IT projects development by addressing the critical aspects for successful project development in Company A. On the other hand the IT project framework is based on generic Capability Maturity Model (CMM) and is adapted to the specific needs but the result could be replicated to other companies with similar IT needs and environment. The next sections of the paper start with the research background regarding IT project development, capability maturity model and the IT project framework currently used in Company A. Furthermore, we have presented the research methodology used in this study and the design of our framework for IT projects development in Company A. Finally, in the last section we present an analysis of the results and the conclusions.

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