Measuring Information Systems Success

6 Feb

In my previous blog entitled, “Success Criteria”, [1] I discussed Wateridge’s [2] 1998 piece concerned with defining the criteria for success in order to determine whether or not an IS/IT project is successful. However in an 2011 article, Joosten et al [3] stresses the fact that there is still no adequate measurement of information systems and that the discussion of information system success is largely academic . “Despite an ongoing discussion for many years, there is no satisfying solution for the problem of an adequate and comprehensive evaluation or rather measurement of information system project success (ISPS) in research and practice.” [3] Using semi-structured expert interviews, the article researches how German companies analyse their ISPS. Their views were recorded to gain insight on the following their views on information system success, and their companies’ method for measuring success. The research question questions they chose to address are as follow, (taken directly from article) [3]

1. Which criteria do companies use to measure the success of their IS projects?

2. How do decision-makers subjectively evaluate IS projects? Do they use additional or different criteria compared to  the companies?

3. In which way do the practical approaches differ from the theoretically developed ones that are proposed in the literature and how can this discrepancy be interpreted?

Similar to the findings of Wateridge 1998 [2] the results of this research reveal that time budget and user requirements are very much the determinants of ISPS in practice. However the subjective perceptions of decision maker’s cite customer satisfaction, user satisfaction, and the project’s and product’s economic value as determinants of ISPS. The authors acknowledge that perhaps the subjective perceptions not being practised are due to the difficulty in measuring benefits such as customer satisfaction and economic value. Furthermore, “the additional criteria are supposed to be fulfilled as a consequence of developing a project according to its plan.” [3]

The authors conclude that the process efficiency needs further examination as “its importance becomes obvious as efficiency is evaluated in cases in which the plan is exceeded.”

This article raises interesting questions for further research. Is it still difficult to adequately analyse ISPS? Do you think that companies need to focus more on including customer satisfaction and economic value in their analysis of success. Should companies focus more on evaluating process efficiency.

[1] “Success Criteria”,

[2] Wateridge, J 1998, ‘How can IS/IT projects be measured for success’, International Journal of

Project Management, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 59-63.

[3] Joosten, Dominik; Basten, Dirk; and Mellis, Werner, “Measurement of Information System Project Success in Organizations – What Researchers can learn from Practice.” (2011). ECIS 2011 Proceedings. Paper 177.

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