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Comments on 'Factors that Impact Implementing a System Development Methodology'
March 2001 (vol. 27 no. 3)
pp. 279-281

Abstract—In this correspondence, we point out some of the major shortcomings that we have discovered in the article titled “Factors that Impact Implementing a System Development Methodology” by Roberts et al. [9]. The article was published in the August 1998 issue of IEEE Transactions of Software Engineering. The article contains multiple problems that, if not pointed out, have the potential to lead to a state of confusion among researchers and practitioners alike. In particular, the article has the following problems: 1) The authors claim that the lack of theoretical basis for their factors is due to the fact that SDM implementation has never been studied in the literature. In fact, there is a multitude of studies very similar to that of Roberts et al. 2) The study does not meet commonly accepted standards for factor analysis procedures such as a minimum sample size ratio of 5:1, a ratio mandated even by the authors' own citations. This and other factor analysis problems lead to results that are questionable. In order to make the published article more useful to researchers and practitioners, this paper corrects some of the inaccuracies in the Roberts et al.'s article by: 1) Providing a brief literature review of some articles that are similar to the Roberts et al. study and 2) noting some of the technical inaccuracies in the data analysis procedures used by the authors so that the results can be interpreted in the proper context.

[1] R.G. Fichman, “Information Technology Diffusion: A Review of Empirical Research,” Proc. 13th Int'l Conf. Information Systems, 1992.
[2] R.G. Fichman and C.F. Kemerer, “Adoption of Software Engineering Process Innovations,” Sloan Management Review, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 7-22, 1993.
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[6] D. Leonard-Barton, “Implementing Structured Software Methodologies: A Case of Innovation in Process Technology,” Interfaces, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 6-17, 1987.
[7] D. Leonard-Barton, “Implementation Characteristics of Organizational Innovations,” Comm. Research, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 603-631, 1988.
[8] D. Leonard-Barton and I. Deschamps, “Managerial Influence in the Implementation of New Technology,” Management Science, vol. 34, no. 10, pp. 1252-1265, 1988.
[9] T.L. Roberts, M.L. Gibson, K.T. Fields, and R.K. Rainer, “Factors that Impact the Implementation of a System Development Methodology,” IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. 24, no. 8, pp. 640-649, Aug. 1998.
[10] R.W. Zmud, “Diffusion of Modern Software Practices: Influence of Centralization and Formalization,” Management Science, vol. 28, pp. 1421-1431, 1982.
[11] R.W. Zmud, “The Effectiveness of External Information Channels in Facilitating Innovation Within Software Groups,” MIS Quarterly, pp. 43-56, June 1983.
[12] R.W. Zmud, “An Examination of Push-Pull Theory Applied to Process Innovation in Knowledge Work,” Management Science, vol. 30, pp. 727-738, 1984.

Index Terms:
Systems development methodology, analysis and design, implementation, factor analysis.
Surya B. Yadav, Neal G. Shaw, Linda Webb, Canan Sutcu, "Comments on 'Factors that Impact Implementing a System Development Methodology'," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 279-281, March 2001, doi:10.1109/32.910863
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