A fuzzy computational intelligence approach to monitoring information technology project scope

Author/Creator ORCID




Towson University. Department of Computer and Information Sciences


Citation of Original Publication


Copyright protected, all rights reserved.
There are no restrictions on access to this document. An internet release form signed by the author to display this document online is on file with Towson University Special Collections and Archives.



Monitoring and understanding scope status is essential to the management of information technology (IT) projects. Many IT project failures have been due to mismanagement of scope, a subjective constraint. The result has been a reliance on monitoring systems that measured quantitative data to indirectly infer the status. This study designed methods to address monitoring IT scope when it is intangible. The design science research methodology was implemented using processes identified by Peffers, Tuunanen, Rothenberger, and Chatterjee. The methodology involved six activities in the building and evaluating of artifacts to demonstrate computational intelligence methods. The first activity in the methodology established IT scope as a source of costly project failures. The second step defined the objectives for a solution to the problem. The third activity in the research methodology was to build a design. The output of the design process was a set of methods utilizing computational intelligence for both collection and processing of subjective opinions. The fourth and fifth activities of the design science approach were to demonstrate and then to evaluate the effectiveness of the methods compared to conventional status reports. The evaluation by experts confirmed that the methods can monitor subjective status. After establishing the utility of the methods, their evaluation considered two extensions of the design: computational linguistic hedges and leading indicators for scope status. The sixth activity in the methodology was to communicate findings to both IT researchers and project management professionals. That was accomplished by presenting the design artifacts in peer reviewed conference proceedings. In summary, the design science research methodology framed the research questions, presented a design of the methods, the demonstration and evaluation of design artifacts by subject matter experts, and the communications of the findings. The primary contribution of this research is the employment of computational intelligence methods to the subjective, qualitative scope constraint in the monitoring and execution phases of an IT project. The other contributions are utilizing computational linguistic hedges to modify the scope status, and the implementation of CI methods for leading indicators. It was clear that the methods provided information to project managers to initiate corrective actions.