IS Success Canvas?

10 Feb

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.  –  Bill Gates

IS Success Canvas?

The DeLone & McLean IS success model was instrumental in identifying the key dimensions of IS success, and remains robust in most regards, as outlined in Petter et al (2008). However, Gable et al (2008) have excluded the constructs “Use” a consequence of IS Impact and not a dimension, and “User Satisfaction” which is measured indirectly under the other variables.

Fortunately, for any practitioner seeking to evaluate IS success within an organisation, it is not necessary to invent the wheel. Many valid measures have been identified tested and refined. Sedera et al’s Multi-dimensional IS Success Instrument for example, takes into account many of the concerns outlined in Seddon (1999), and has collected and tested success measures, combining them into a comprehensive 27 measure IS Success Instrument from an initial 37 items in total.  –  (See Gable et al (2008) for list of measures.)

In my previous post (Relatively Successful IS) I presented some of the concerns raised with regard to type of IS, stakeholder perspective and organisational context etc. in determining IS success. In particular, the context matrix presented in Seddon et al (1999) stands out as identifying the challenges and providing direction in tailoring an evaluation to a particular perspective of success. However, it remains doubtful that all of these contingencies will ever be entirely controlled for.

The challenges of relating an (ideal) IS success model concept to a practical context are reminiscent of Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., & Tucci 2005, and so many others’ quest to establish the dimensions of the “Business Model”. While in academia the research continues, in practice, Osterwalder’s “Canvas” provides a framework, informed by the research, into which various users/stakeholders from various contexts etc., can input their own specific content. I would suggest designing a framework much like the Business Model Canvas, whereby all perspectives etc, can be accommodated. The IS Success Canvas framework would be informed by the knowledge gained through DeLone & McLean, Seddon et al, and Sedera’s modeling and research.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.’ –  Winston Churchill


Gable, Guy G. and Sedera, Darshana and Chan, Taizan (2008) Re-conceptualizing information system success : the IS-Impact Measurement Model. Journal of the Association for Information Systems.

Petter, S., DeLone, W., & McLean, E. (2008). Measuring information systems success: models, dimensions, measures, and interrelationships. European Journal of Information Systems, 17(3), 236-263

Seddon, P. B., Staples, S., Patnayakuni, R., & Bowtell, M. (1999). Dimensions of information systems success. Communications of the AIS, 2(3es).

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., & Tucci, C. L. 2005. Clarifying business models: Origins, present and future of the concept. Communications of the Association for Information Science (CAIS)

2 Responses to “IS Success Canvas?”

  1. DDennehy February 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    Visualisation tools such as a canvas are great when used correctly by practitioners and academics, but what happens when they are not used correctly? Most often the tool is viewed as having limitations, rather than the user being viewed as being limited by their own inability or simply their lack of interest in using the tool correctly!!

  2. cliftonmoore February 16, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    ….I agree with you DDennehy, the potential of the Canvas as a tool will depend largely on the position/ability of the users, as is the case with all tools. Though arguably, the existence of tools is preferable to the alternative.

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