CCE Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Sumitra Mukherjee

Committee Member

Maxine S Cohen

Committee Member

Junping Sun


Decision Making Cognitive Process, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), IT Balanced Scorecard & Information Economics, IT Investment Alignment, IT Portfolio Management, Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM)


Information technology (IT) investment decision makers are required to process large volumes of complex data. An existing body of knowledge relevant to IT portfolio management (PfM), decision analysis, visual comprehension of large volumes of information, and IT investment decision making suggest Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) and hypervariate display techniques can reduce cognitive load and improve decision confidence in IT PfM decisions. This dissertation investigates improving the decision confidence by reducing cognitive burden of the decision maker through greater comprehension of relevant decision information.

Decision makers from across the federal government were presented with actual federal IT portfolio project lifecycle costs and durations using hypervariate displays to better comprehend IT portfolio information more quickly and make more confident decisions. Other information economics attributes were randomized for IT portfolio projects to generate Balanced Scorecard (BSC) values to support MCDM decision aids focused on IT investment alignment with specific business objectives and constraints. Both quantitative and qualitative measures of participant comprehension, confidence, and efficiency were measured to assess hypervariate display treatment and then MCDM decision aid treatment effectiveness. Morae Recorder Autopilot guided participants through scenario tasks and collected study data without researcher intervention for analysis using Morae Manager.

Results showed improved comprehension and decision confidence using hypervariate displays of federal IT portfolio information over the standard displays. Both quantitative and qualitative data showed significant differences in accomplishment of assigned IT portfolio management tasks and increased confidence in decisions. MCDM techniques, incorporating IT BSC, Monte Carlo simulation, and optimization algorithms to provide cost, value, and risk optimized portfolios improved decision making efficiency. Participants did not find improved quality and reduced uncertainty from optimized IT portfolio information. However, on average participants were satisfied and confident with the portfolio optimizations. Improved and efficient methods of delivering and visualizing IT portfolio information can reduce decision maker cognitive load, improve comprehension efficiency, and improve decision making confidence. Study results contribute to knowledge in the area of comprehension and decision making cognitive processes, and demonstrate important linkages between Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Decision Support Systems (DSS) to support IT PfM decision making.

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