The use and effectiveness of systems development methodologies in South Africa
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This study investigates the use and effectiveness of systems development methodologies in practice. Systems development methodologies are defined as the totality of systems development approaches, process models, methods and techniques used in an organisation. The term "deployment" is used to encompass the use of systems development methodologies, the perceived support provided by them, and their impact on both the developed system and the development process. The general purpose of this study was to investigate whether there has been a change in the use of systems development methodologies in South Africa since the study performed by Huisman (Huisman, 1999) and also whether the factors that influence the use and effectiveness of systems development methodologies have changed or remained the same as put forth in 1999. Research was conducted to determine the current situation of systems development methodologies deployment in South Africa. The results showed that development of software is performed on multiple operating systems, using multiple development platforms and multiple programming languages. The requirements and testing phases make use of techniques the most intensively. The overall intensity of use of techniques and methods was found to be very low. The relationship between the perceived maturity of an organisation and the deployment of systems development methodologies was also investigated. Organisations do not follow the maturity levels of the CMM as prescribed and skip key practices of each level. The CMM Level 3 key practices were found to have the greatest impact on the deployment of methodologies. Organisational culture and its influence on the deployment of systems development methodologies was another focal point of the analysis. In general, organisations had weak affiliations to the four culture groups as defined by the Competing Values Framework. The culture group with the most impact on the deployment of methodologies was the developmental culture which emphasises decentralisation, differentiation and flexibility. This is a significant finding since Huisman (1999) found that hierarchical culture most influences deployment of methodologies. These two organisational culture groups are complete opposites and a dramatic shift has taken place in organisations' culture since 1999. Various organisational factors were examined to establish their bearing on the deployment of systems development methodologies. The results revealed that IS department size has a negative impact on the developed system and the development process. It is also negatively related to the support aspects of methodology deployment. Maturity has a positive effect on the support for organisational alignment and horizontal use. The time dedicated to the development of new applications has a negative impact on the developed system as well as the development process. Developmental culture is positively related to the deployment of systems development methodologies. At the individual level, it was found that relative advantage, ease of use, compatibility, demonstrability, trialability and developer support all have a positive impact on the individual deployment of systems development methodologies. Uncertainty, experience in systems development and voluntariness have a negative effect on different aspects of individual deployment.
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