Project Management Institute

Six sigma and information systems project management

a revised theoretical model

The evolution of information systems (IS) has driven the globalization of commerce. Through IS projects, companies can expand their operations and improve their performance. But realizing IS projects--which usually involves resolving complex requirements and uncertain conditions--that deliver expected results on time and within budget has long been the struggle of those managing and implementing these types of projects. This article examines how Six Sigma could help IS project managers improve a framework for implementing IS projects, a framework known as the R&R model (named after its developers, the researchers Ravichandran and Rai). In doing so, it overviews how Six Sigma is helping non-IS companies improve and why the authors integrated Six Sigma into the R&R model. It describes why and how the authors adopted the theory development approach; it discusses the three approaches IS project managers commonly use to control IS projects, noting the gaps--as identified in the literature--involved in managing IS projects. It also explains total quality management (TQM) and Six Sigma's principles and practices. It then analyzes the R&R model in relation to using Six Sigma, and from this, outlines a revised R&R model for managing IS projects, listing the new model's re-specifications to the R&R model's four constructs. It details the knowledge the authors generated from conducting their study.
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