A structured approach to the implementation of information technology (IT) governance principles to address application software project failure at a strategic and operational level

Van Vuuren, Nadine (2019-04)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Application software projects continue to fail at an alarming rate, despite extensive research on the subject and various attempts by organisations to prevent such failures. These failures are mainly attributable to the misalignment between an organisation’s business requirements, which are driven by the business strategy, and the capabilities of application software selected and implemented to support those business requirements. This misalignment is commonly referred to as the Information Technology (IT) gap. IT governance plays an integral role in the alignment of application software capabilities with business requirements to address the risks of application software project failure at a strategic and operational level. While it is apparent that control frameworks provide a critical foundation for implementing IT governance, these frameworks are generic and lack guidance on how organisations in different industries can practically implement IT governance principles to address software project failure. The purpose of the study is to develop a structured approach, based on IT governance principles, to provide organisations with practical guidance for addressing application software project failure by bridging the IT gap at a strategic and operational level. The development of the structured approach involved the following steps: - A recognised control framework was applied to identify potential failure factors that can contribute to application software project failure. A matrix was accordingly developed for aligning those failure factors with the applicable processes of the selected control framework to address software project failure at a strategic and operational level. This matrix can provide organisations with practical guidance for using the selected control framework to identify and address failure factors that can lead to the failure of application software projects. - A second matrix was also compiled for aligning a generic list of business imperatives with recommended software requirements to achieve business/IT alignment in software projects. This is based on the study’s recommendation that organisations should use their own unique business imperatives to drive the alignment between application software capabilities and business requirements, which can in turn mitigate the risk of application software project failure. In conclusion, the structured approach developed in this study can ultimately provide organisations in different industries with a set of practical guidelines for mitigating the risks of software project failure by applying IT governance principles to bridge the IT gap at both a strategic and operational level. Furthermore, all stakeholders involved in application software projects can use the above two matrixes as guidelines to engage in the selection, design and implementation of application software to ultimately support an organisation’s strategic objectives.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die hoë koers van mislukte toepassingsprogrammatuur-projekte duur steeds voort, ondanks uitgebreide navorsing rakende die onderwerp en verskeie pogings deur organisasies om sulke mislukkings te voorkom. Hierdie mislukkings word hoofsaaklik toegeskryf aan die wanbelyning tussen ʼn organisasie se besigheidsvereistes, wat gedryf word deur die besigheidstrategie, en die eienskappe en funksies van toepassingsprogrammatuur wat gekies en geïmplementeer is om hierdie besigheidsvereistes te ondersteun. Hierdie wanbeleiding is algemeen bekend as die Informasie Tegnologie (IT) gaping. IT-beheer speel ʼn belangrike rol in die belyning van die eienskappe en funksies van toepassingsprogrammatuur met besigheidsvereistes ten einde die risiko's van mislukking van hierdie projekte op beide ʼn strategiese en operasionele vlak aan te spreek. Alhoewel dit opmerklik is dat IT-beheerraamwerke ʼn fundamentele grondslag vir die implementering van IT-beheer kan bied, is hierdie raamwerke generies en ontbreek leiding oor hoe organisasies in verskillende industrieë IT-beheerbeginsels prakties kan implementeer om die mislukking van toepassingsprogrammatuur-projekte aan te spreek. Hierdie studie het ten doel om ʼn gestruktureerde benadering te ontwikkel, gebaseer op IT-beheerbeginsels, om praktiese leiding vir organisasies te verskaf om die mislukking van toepassingsprogrammatuur-projekte aan te spreek deur die IT-gaping op ʼn strategiese en operasionele vlak te oorbrug. Die ontwikkeling van die gestruktureerde benadering het die volgende stappe behels: - ʼn Erkende kontroleraamwerk is aangewend om potensiële mislukkingsfaktore te identifiseer wat kan bydra tot mislukte toepassingsprogrammatuur-projekte. ʼn Matriks is dienooreenkomstig ontwikkel vir die belyning van daardie mislukkingsfaktore met die toepaslike prosesse van die gekose kontroleraamwerk om die mislukking van toepassingsprogrammatuur-projekte op ʼn strategiese en operasionele vlak aan te spreek. Hierdie matriks kan praktiese leiding aan organisasies bied vir die gebruik van die gekose kontroleraamwerk om potensiële mislukkingsfaktore, wat kan lei tot die mislukking van toepassingsprogrammatuur-projekte, te identifiseer en aan te spreek. - ʼn Tweede matriks is ook saamgestel vir die belyning van ʼn generiese lys besigheidsimperatiewe met aanbevole vereistes vir toepassingsprogrammatuur om die belyning van besigheid en IT te bewerkstellig. Dit is gegrond op die studie se aanbeveling dat organisasies hul eie unieke besigheidsimperatiewe moet gebruik om die belyning tussen die eienskappe en funksies van toepassingsprogrammatuur en besigheidsvereistes te dryf, wat die risiko’s van mislukte toepassingsprogrammatuur-projekte kan teenwerk. Ten slotte kan die gestruktureerde benadering wat in hierdie studie ontwikkel is, organisasies in verskillende industrieë van ʼn stel praktiese riglyne voorsien om die risiko's van mislukte toepassingsprogrammatuur-projekte te kan teenwerk deur IT-beheerbeginsels toe te pas om die IT gaping op beide ʼn strategiese en operasionele vlak te oorbrug. Verder kan alle belangegroepe betrokke by toepassingsprogrammatuur-projekte die bogenoemde twee matrikse as riglyne gebruik om insae te lewer rakende die keuse, ontwerp en implementering van toepassingsprogrammatuur om uiteindelik ʼn organisasie se strategiese doelwitte te ondersteun.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106024
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