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.
|Title of host publication||ECIS 2009|
|Subtitle of host publication||Information systems in a globalising world: Challenges, ethics and practice|
|Editors||S. Newell, E. Whitley, N. Pouloudi, J. Wareham, L. Mathiassen|
|Place of Publication||Verona, Italy|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
|Event||European Conference on Information Systems - Verona|
Duration: 08 Jun 2009 → 10 Jun 2009
|Conference||European Conference on Information Systems|
|Period||08/06/09 → 10/06/09|
Nagm, F., Cecez-Kecmanovic, D., & Kennan, M. A. (2009). IS PROJECT EVALUATION METHODOLOGY: SCIENCE OR ART? In S. Newell, E. Whitley, N. Pouloudi, J. Wareham, & L. Mathiassen (Eds.), ECIS 2009: Information systems in a globalising world: Challenges, ethics and practice (pp. 1-13). ECIS.