Sources of uncertainty in information system development projects
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Information system development (ISD) projects are characterized by complexity, intangibility, and high likelihood for changes – all of which heighten the role of uncertainty. Prior IS/IT research has researched uncertainty mainly from specific perspectives, such as software project management, but it is essential to understand the problem widely as well. Uncertainty can be felt due to various sources. Being able to identify and prioritize uncertainty sources is a fundamental aspect of uncertainty management. However, majority of IS/IT research has utilized lists of uncertainties created based on expert intuition rather than empirical research. There is also a lack of continuity in the research regarding sources of uncertainty. It’s rare that two studies utilize the same taxonomy rather than creating one customized for their needs. This study adopted an earlier empirically devised taxonomy of sources of uncertainties to further validate it and complement it with the perceived frequency of uncertainty due to each source. Additionally, differences in uncertainty perception between inexperienced and experienced ISD professionals were analyzed. The results from the survey of 64 ISD professionals extend and complement current knowledge on sources of uncertainty and uncertainty perception among professionals with different levels of experience. Additionally, the study discussed both academic and practical implications of these findings to both, as well as future research opportunities. ...
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