6.15: Hertzum, M., and J. Simonsen (2011): “Effects-Driven IT Development: Status 2004-2011,” in M. Hertzum, and C. Jørgensen: Balancing Sourcing and Innovation in Information Systems Development, Tapir Academic Publishers, Trondheim, NO, pp. 165-192


Information technology (IT) is a means to an end, yet many IT projects assign primacy to technical development and attend comparatively less to the organizational change effort that is required to attain a good fit between organization and IT system. This entails a risk of not capturing the benefits of the deployed system. Effects-driven IT development aims to counter this risk by providing an instrument for managing IT projects through a sustained focus on the effects desired from the use of the IT system. A sustained focus on effects entails that the specification, realization, and assessment of effects become central systems-development activities. In this chapter, we describe the six empirical projects we have conducted in our work on effects-driven IT development during the period 2004–2011 and we discuss the experiences gained so far. The empirical projects indicate that the desired effects can be specified and measured, though we have mixed experiences with ensuring that effects are measured. An effects hierarchy has been devised and appears suitable for working with effects at different levels of abstraction. A key challenge with which we still have insufficient experience concerns how a partnership with close relations between a customer and a vendor can be established. Finally, we have yet to address whether and how to incorporate an effects-driven approach in the contractual regulation of IT projects.

Keywords: effects-driven IT development, partnership sourcing, pilot implementation, evaluation.