A1 Journal article (refereed)
Uncertainty in information system development : causes, effects, and coping mechanisms (2020)

Taipalus, T., Seppänen, V., & Pirhonen, M. (2020). Uncertainty in information system development : causes, effects, and coping mechanisms. Journal of Systems and Software, 168, Article 110655. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2020.110655

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Taipalus, Toni; Seppänen, Ville; Pirhonen, Maritta

Journal or series: Journal of Systems and Software

ISSN: 0164-1212

eISSN: 1873-1228

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 168

Article number: 110655

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2020.110655

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/69330


Information system development (ISD) projects are an ever-growing field of project management (PM) with their unique features, and project failures in ISD are relatively common. In the broader context of PM, uncertainty is a studied, yet mercurial phenomenon. By contrast, uncertainty in ISD projects has received relatively little attention from scholars, and PM literature has not systematically focused on uncertainty in ISD from a viewpoint other than that of project managers. In order to understand uncertainties in ISD projects, we need to first understand the causes behind them, their effects on everyday ISD work, and share coping mechanisms utilized among industry professionals. In the context of ISD projects, we set out to explore what causes uncertainty, what are the effects of uncertainty, and how software industry professionals cope with uncertainty. We conducted eleven semi-structured interviews with a diverse range of ISD professionals, and analyzed the interviews using conventional content analysis. Our results extend and complement current knowledge on the causes, effects, and coping mechanisms of uncertainty, especially in the context of ISD. Additionally, we present practical considerations on how to implement our findings into ISD industry and education.

Keywords: systems work; project work; project leadership; uncertainty; risks; coping

Free keywords: uncertainty; risk; information system development; cause; effect; coping mechanism

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2022-17-06 at 10:57