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Effects of Process Maturity on Quality, Cycle Time, and Effort in Software Product Development


  • Donald E. Harter

    () (University of Michigan Business School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1234)

  • Mayuram S. Krishnan

    () (University of Michigan Business School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1234)

  • Sandra A. Slaughter

    () (Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213)


The information technology (IT) industry is characterized by rapid innovation and intense competition. To survive, IT firms must develop high quality software products on time and at low cost. A key issue is whether high levels of quality can be achieved without adversely impacting cycle time and effort. Conventional beliefs hold that processes to improve software quality can be implemented only at the expense of longer cycle times and greater development effort. However, an alternate view is that quality improvement, faster cycle time, and effort reduction can be simultaneously attained by reducing defects and rework. In this study, we empirically investigate the relationship between process maturity, quality, cycle time, and effort for the development of 30 software products by a major IT firm. We find that higher levels of process maturity as assessed by the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model\trademark are associated with higher product quality, but also with increases in development effort. However, our findings indicate that the reductions in cycle time and effort due to improved quality outweigh the increases from achieving higher levels of process maturity. Thus, the net effect of process maturity is reduced cycle time and development effort.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald E. Harter & Mayuram S. Krishnan & Sandra A. Slaughter, 2000. "Effects of Process Maturity on Quality, Cycle Time, and Effort in Software Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 451-466, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:4:p:451-466

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Haruvy Ernan E & Wu Fang & Chakravarty Sujoy, 2005. "Incentives for Developers’ Contributions and Product Performance Metrics in Open Source Development: An Empirical Exploration," IIMA Working Papers WP2005-03-04, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    2. Anjana Susarla, 2012. "Contractual Flexibility, Rent Seeking, and Renegotiation Design: An Empirical Analysis of Information Technology Outsourcing Contracts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(7), pages 1388-1407, July.
    3. Arora, Ashish & Forman, Chris & Nandkumar, Anand & Telang, Rahul, 2010. "Competition and patching of security vulnerabilities: An empirical analysis," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 164-177, May.
    4. Anandasivam Gopal & Guodong (Gordon) Gao, 2009. "Certification in the Indian Offshore IT Services Industry," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 11(3), pages 471-492, December.
    5. Niemi, Petri & Huiskonen, Janne & Kärkkäinen, Hannu, 2009. "Understanding the knowledge accumulation process--Implications for the adoption of inventory management techniques," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 160-167, March.
    6. Scott A. Shane & Karl T. Ulrich, 2004. "50th Anniversary Article: Technological Innovation, Product Development, and Entrepreneurship in Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(2), pages 133-144, February.
    7. Sriram Narayanan & Sridhar Balasubramanian & Jayashankar M. Swaminathan, 2009. "A Matter of Balance: Specialization, Task Variety, and Individual Learning in a Software Maintenance Environment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(11), pages 1861-1876, November.
    8. Peter Trkman & Andrej Kovačič & Aleš Popovič, 2011. "SOA Adoption Phases," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 3(4), pages 211-220, August.
    9. Shan, Peng & Song, Michael & Ju, Xiaofeng, 2016. "Entrepreneurial orientation and performance: Is innovation speed a missing link?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 683-690.
    10. Remco Dijkman & Sander Vincent Lammers & Ad Jong, 2016. "Properties that influence business process management maturity and its effect on organizational performance," Information Systems Frontiers, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 717-734, August.
    11. Rajiv D. Banker & Robert J. Kauffman, 2004. "50th Anniversary Article: The Evolution of Research on Information Systems: A Fiftieth-Year Survey of the Literature in Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(3), pages 281-298, March.
    12. repec:spr:infosf:v:12:y:2010:i:2:d:10.1007_s10796-008-9093-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Donald E. Harter & Sandra A. Slaughter, 2003. "Quality Improvement and Infrastructure Activity Costs in Software Development: A Longitudinal Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(6), pages 784-800, June.
    14. Uriel Stettner & Dovev Lavie, 2014. "Ambidexterity under scrutiny: Exploration and exploitation via internal organization, alliances, and acquisitions," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(13), pages 1903-1929, December.
    15. Ngai, E.W.T & Chau, D.C.K. & Poon, J.K.L. & To, C.K.M., 2013. "Energy and utility management maturity model for sustainable manufacturing process," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 453-464.
    16. Anandasivam Gopal & Konduru Sivaramakrishnan & M. S. Krishnan & Tridas Mukhopadhyay, 2003. "Contracts in Offshore Software Development: An Empirical Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(12), pages 1671-1683, December.
    17. Buyukozkan, G.Gulcin & Feyzioglu, Orhan, 2004. "A fuzzy-logic-based decision-making approach for new product development," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 27-45, July.


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