IS PROJECT EVALUATION METHODOLOGY: SCIENCE OR ART?

Fouad Nagm, Dubravka Cecez-Kecmanovic, Mary Anne Kennan

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Pre-investment evaluation of information system project proposals persists in being problematic and highly risky in practice. Numerous evaluation approaches and methodologies, offered in the literature, have not contributed to major improvements in practice. As the literature review shows, these methodologies have assumed an ideal of objective and scientific evaluation and taken the view of methodology as science. In this paper we aim to revisit the notion of IS evaluation methodology in practice and specifically explore the methodology as both the 'science' and the 'art'. We achieve these aims by conducting an Actor Network Theory (ANT) study of IS evaluation in a large financial services company. The ANT study allowed us to investigate the methodology as it is enacted in IS project evaluations in practice without making any a priori decision of what methodology is or should do. By defining a series of processes, inscription aids and mandated checkpoints we found that the evaluation methodology engenders the evaluation process as 'science'; and by allowing a degree of freedom in conducting the evaluation processes, the methodology is also enabling the evaluation processes to emerge as 'art' and by doing so stimulating creativity and innovation. Thus the ANT approach assisted in our discovery of the dual nature of methodology as simultaneously science and art.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECIS 2009
Subtitle of host publicationInformation systems in a globalising world: Challenges, ethics and practice
EditorsS. Newell, E. Whitley, N. Pouloudi, J. Wareham, L. Mathiassen
Place of PublicationVerona, Italy
PublisherECIS
Pages1-13
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventEuropean Conference on Information Systems - Verona
Duration: 08 Jun 200910 Jun 2009

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Conference on Information Systems
Period08/06/0910/06/09

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