AuthorsS. S. Tanilkan and J. E. Hannay
EditorsD. Taibi, M. Kuhrmann, T. Mikkonen, J. Klünder and P. Abrahamsson
TitleBenefit Considerations in Project Decisions
AfilliationSoftware Engineering
Project(s)Department of IT Management, EDOS: Effective Digitalization of Public Sector
Publication TypeProceedings, refereed
Year of Publication2022
Conference NameInternational Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement. PROFES 2022
Date Published11/2022
PublisherSpringer, Cham
ISBN Number978-3-031-21388-5
KeywordsBenefit, Benefits management challenges, Cost, Scope, Software project severity, Time

Software project success is often characterized in terms of time, cost and scope – despite that delivering benefit is the main purpose of a project. In this paper, we explore 1) to what degree benefit considerations influence major project decisions, 2) to what degree a specific set of benefits management challenge are handled and influence major project decisions and 3) if there is any realization (over time) that benefit considerations should receive greater attention. We investigate influence in projects with four types of problem severity: completed projects with only minor problems, completed projects with major problems, projects that were disrupted but completed, and projects that were terminated before completion. We asked 45 software professionals to what degree time, cost, scope, benefit and benefit/cost, as well as benefits management challenges, influence major roject decisions. Our findings indicate that time, cost and scope have a significantly higher degree of influence on project decisions than benefit and benefit/cost. However, practitioners think that benefit and benefit/cost should have significantly more influence on decisions than cost. The benefits management challenges are found to have less influence in the more severe projects. We argue that giving benefits considerations a stronger voice in project decisions would be in line with the desire of practitioners and the prime objective of delivering benefit to stakeholders. We conclude that it is important to understand how to handle benefits management challenges at different stages of project life and that handling such challenges should be integrated with other prime drivers of project success.

Citation Key42770