Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Limiting the focus of risk analysis to quantifiable factors and using a narrow understanding of the scope of a software project are major contributors to significant software failures. A Software Development Impact Statement (SoDIS) process is presented which extends the concept of software risk in three ways; --it moves beyond the limited approach of schedule, budget, and function, --it adds qualitative elements, and --it recognizes project stakeholders beyond those considered in typical risk analysis. As the types of risks increase the range of stakeholders that need to be considered also expands. Using this expanded view of risk analysis reduced or eliminated the impacts of many previously undetected risks of software development. The SoDIS process and its software associated development tasks with relevant stakeholders through the application of structured questions. This process was incorporated effectively into the software development life cycle and applied to software development projects in different domains on several continents. The successes of the SoDIS process provide strong evidence that a significant side-effect of narrowing project objectives is a root cause of IT project failures.