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Title: Exploring the complexity of risk interaction with success factors and success criteria in software projects
Author: Harbi, F. I.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 3576
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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In recent decades, information technology and software products have become an important part of all areas of life. Governments, businesses and individuals seek to set up software projects that, for example, provide support or provide a service or make our lives easier in other ways. This has resulted in the creation of a huge number of software projects. However, these projects often fail or are even cancelled before they start. Despite numerous studies to determine the reasons for this, software projects are still one of the riskiest types of project. This is because many of them contain a lot of overlapping parts that interact with each other, which increases their complexity. Therefore, the study of the complexity of interactions can lead to more understanding of such projects, which, in turn, even if it does not provide full understanding of a project's complexity, gives decision-makers the capacity to make the right decision for the success of a project. This study explores the interactions that occur between the risk factors and success in software projects. An in-depth literature review was conducted to extract the most important risk and success factors of project software, and this research identified a list of 64 risk factors and 38 critical success factors taxonomised into three classes. Furthermore, four success criteria (cost, quality, time and scope) were identified for measuring success in software projects. A mixture of methods from both qualitative and quantitative approaches has been used in this research. Also, the literature review has been used in order to review the relevant concepts related to the research topic. In addition, the literature review identified a gap in the research. Two surveys were used to obtain the necessary data in order to answer the research questions and objectives, and then the data were analysed using descriptive, statistical and network analyses. The results of this research exploring the complexity of interaction have been produced in two parts. The first part is the constructs' correlation results; descriptive and statistical analysis of the data was generated by this method. In addition, this research explored the characteristics of the network that have been created by the interactions between risk factors, success factors and success criteria. Furthermore, it identified the most central and influential factors in those networks, and found that the development environment is the most important factor in a software project. In part two, a dependency matrix has been used to explore the interactions that occur within each success criterion as well as identifying the most controlling factors in each ego network. Effective project management has been identified as the most influential success factor in the cost, quality, time and scope ego networks; having an unrealistic budget was the most influential risk factor in the cost and scope ego networks, and resource insufficiency was the most influential factor in the quality and time ego networks. Furthermore, as well as the association between the factors, the contribution of each factor in predicting each success criterion has been analysed and discussed in order to give decisionmakers as much information as possible to develop strategies and plans to raise the software project success rate.
Supervisor: Boussabaine, A. H. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral