A multiple perspective approach to information system quality
The motivation for this research is a concern with the high rate of information system failures reported in the academic literature and in practitioner publications. It is proposed that the adoption of the customer-centred ideals and methods of quality management in information system development will increase the likelihood of the delivery of successful information systems. The approach taken in the research is to work with the ideas of multiple perspectives - organizational effectiveness, work-life quality, and technical artefact quality - and multiple stakeholders. The research approach is to use action research. The fieldwork comprises three phases. The first phase involved interviewing system developers and the second phase consisted of two case studies of implemented information systems. This preliminary analysis, together with a theoretical investigation of the foundations of quality, was used to inform the development of a quality approach to information system development. The information system development methodology (ISDM) is based upon Multiview, a multiple perspective approach to information system development, and the total quality management method used is quality function deployment. The resultant hybrid methodology is known as ISDM/Q. The ISDM/Q is tested using action research on a live system development project concerned with the development of a wind tunnel control and data collection system. Extensive organizational analysis was conducted to place this software development within a wider organizational context, involving quality requirements workshops and quality planning. The outcomes of the research are assessed in terms of the learning recorded with respect to the framework of ideas, the methodology (ISDM/Q) and the domain in which the action research took place. The field work showed that there were benefits to using a quality metaphor in information system development but that this would require a significant change in the culture and style of information system development organizations. A practical contribution of the research is the development of quality function deployment for information system development.