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Validating the Design Theory for Scope Management

(Timo Käkölä and Pekka Forselius, ICIS 2015)

Validating the Design Theory for Managing Project Scope during Software Sourcing and Delivery

Most software project estimation and measurement (PEM) processes have been designed for providers. Customers need to leverage PEM to better direct software sourcing. A design theory for software project-scoping has been developed that supports the PEM processes of both customers and providers. This paper probes the validity of the theory from providers’ and customers’ viewpoints through three longitudinal case studies. A software provider used a preliminary version of the theory in dozens of software development projects annually, systematically (1) achieving higher customer satisfaction through better estimation accuracy and (2) improving productivity. Two government organizations used the theory to speed up their software sourcing and reduce their sourcing costs to a half without giving up any functional or quality requirements. Similar results have not been obtained before. Future research is needed to generalize the findings.