Friday, March 22, 2002

I recently posted a review of Information Systems Success Measurement on Amazon. This book reflects best practices in a narrow discipline, and is important to anyone who is concerned with delivering (or proving) value using information technology. My review:
The nine chapters in this book are essays that are written by experts in their fields of expertise, with contributions by Garrity and Sanders who are credited on the cover.

Each of the chapters can stand alone, although they are presented in a sequence that build upon the preceding one. Each chapter ends with endnotes and references. Chapter 1 introduces information systems success measurement as a discipline. It does so in clear terms and is consistent with each of the subsequent chapters. Chapter 2, Dimensions of IS Success, is especially strong in that it introduces models, including DeLone and MacLean's model for IS success, and variations that show different viewpoints. It decomposes the dimensions into domains, provides questionnaires, and ends with an appendix that gives example ratings and measurements. This chapter shows how to quantify factors and portray success in hard numbers.

Chapter 3 extends the previous one by providing a 3-D model approach to measurement. Because I work in multi-cultural and multi-national environments I especially liked Chapter 4's focus on cross-cultural environments. In addition, the legal aspects of measurement that is Chapter 5's topic is essential reading. Regardless of your specific interests do take the time to read this short chapter because it applies to anyone in IS/IT. One glaring omission here is UCITA (Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act), which is an optional modification, on a state-by-state basis, to the Uniform Commercial Code (which is covered).

The remaining chapters address (Ch 6) Comprehensive Model for Assessing Quality and Productivity, (Ch 7) Development of Process and Outcome User Satisfaction, (Ch 8) Interpretive Approach to IS Success Measurement, and (Ch 9) Five Secrets to Systems Success. Each contained one or more interesting concepts and/or sparked ideas. Because much of my work as an IT consultant involves process improvement strategies and service level management I found this book to be an invaluable source of information. Each of the chapters contains valuable information, insights and ideas that will be useful to anyone in IT management or service delivery roles.

There are two documents that will interest anyone who is among this book's primary audience:
  1. IT Efficiency and Business Value, which is a brief, nine-page overview.
  2. Principles of Effective IT Management, that is more of a book. Its 186 pages, in presentation format, cover all of the key topics and is one of the best documents on the big picture available for free.
End Notes. I hope to find the time to continue my process discussion during the weekend. I'm sure that Kate or Linda (or both) will also contribute items of interest over the weekend.

My most recent entry in Postcards from the Revolution addresses the business requirements layer in the Tarrani-Zarate Model, and this material is directly related to IT critical success factors and value. Next up in that discussion is the link between business requirements and service level objectives.

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