Date of Conferral



Doctor of Information Technology (D.I.T.)


Information Systems and Technology


Steven V. Case


Despite over 50 years of software engineering as a formal practice, contemporary developers of bespoke software follow development practices that result in low-quality products with high development and maintenance costs. This qualitative case study sought to identify strategies used by software and enterprise architects for applying architectural best practices to improve bespoke software quality and lower the total cost of ownership. The study population was application and enterprise architects associated with delivering bespoke software for the enterprise architecture team at a large enterprise in the Nashville, Tennessee metropolitan area. Interview data were collected from 7 enterprise or solution architects; in addition, 47 organizational documents were gathered. Guided by the principles of total quality management, thematic analysis was used to identify codes and themes related to management of quality in software solutions. Prominent themes included focusing on customer satisfaction, collaborating and communicating with all stakeholders, and defining boundaries and empowering people within those boundaries. The findings from this research have implications for positive social change, including improved work-life balance, morale, and productivity of software and enterprise architects through streamlining development and maintenance activities.