Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Branford J. McCallister

Abstract

Reports from academic, commercial, and government organizations have documented software-intensive system cost and schedule overruns for decades. These reports have identified lack of management insight into the software development process as one of many contributing factors. Multiple management mechanisms exist. However, these mechanisms do not support the assessment, and subsequent reporting, of software completion status. Additionally, the conceptual framework, based on industry standards, is limited in its relevance to this study due to an emphasis on what is needed while deferring implementation details. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore U.S. government contractors' lived experiences of assessing and reporting software completion status with current measurement mechanisms. Twenty program or project managers responded to interview questions targeting positive and challenging experiences with current measurement mechanisms. Qualitative analysis of the experiential data was based on open and axial coding conducted on interview transcripts. Analysis indicated that costly resources are applied to metrics that do not provide the required level of management insight into completion status. These findings have positive social change implications for program managers, project managers, and researchers by documenting the need to develop relevant and cost-efficient status metrics to provide the critical insight required by management to reduce overruns.