The relationship between process maturity models and the use and effectiveness of systems development methodologies
Van Rensburg, Christoffel Wilhelmus Janse
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The need for information systems has increased to a point where virtually all business environments require some sort of software to aid in its daily operations. This study will address the need for quality information systems by examining techniques which can potentially aid in producing consistent high-quality information systems. Two techniques in particular, namely Process Maturity Models (PMMs) and Systems Development Methodologies (SDMs) are examined. Process Maturity Models such as the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) as well as the ISO-9000 standards aid in standardising and improving an organisation’s information systems development processes. These Process Maturity Models often require either the use of certain Systems Development Methodologies or at the very least techniques used within some Systems Development Methodologies. Systems Development Methodologies refer to a set of development processes, tools, techniques etc. which can be used during software development to standardise the entire development process by offering the use of modelling techniques, tools to analyse requirements, illustration of processes etc. These techniques differ from one Systems Development Methodology to the next. This study aims to identify the relationship between Process Maturity Models and Systems Development Methodologies. During the research process a questionnaire was sent out to people within the information technology business environment. The questionnaire contained questions used to determine and measure the usage of Systems Development Methodologies and how projects were affected. The questionnaire was also used to do an informal assessment of each respondent’s Capability Maturity Model level. Furthermore the data retrieved was statistically analysed and the results were interpreted. The results indicate that a relationship exists between the use of SDMs and the success of the respondent’s development processes and developed products. A total of 73% of respondents indicated that they do use SDMs to some extent, the most common being the Systems Development Lifecycle (SDLC). The majority of organizations implementing SDMs have been doing so for three years or more. Results also show that most of the respondents are not certified in some formal Process Maturity Model; however, they do implement some of the processes required by models such as the CMMI. An informal assessment performed indicated that 65% of respondents can be grouped into a perceived CMMI level 2 category. Project outcome was measured and the relationship between PMM implementation as well as SDM use was measured. Results show no statistical evidence which indicates that an organisation’s perceived CMMI level is influenced by SDM use, both vertically and horizontally. Results do, however, indicate that organizations which have been implementing SDMs for a longer period of time are more likely to apply CMMI level 4 activities. Results also indicate that the horizontal use (number of projects/people which implement SDM knowledge) of SDMs have a significant effect on the development process- and the developed product success. Lastly the results indicated that organizations which satisfy more of the CMMI’s level 4 activities experience a higher quality development process which leads to a more successful development process.