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ISECON 2004 Conference Newport, Rhode Island, USA November 4-7, 2004. K.H.VAT (Mr) Department of Computer and Information Science Faculty of Science & Technology University of Macau, Macau SAR China.

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isecon 2004 conference newport rhode island usa november 4 7 2004

ISECON 2004 ConferenceNewport, Rhode Island, USA November 4-7, 2004

K.H.VAT (Mr)

Department of Computer and Information Science

Faculty of Science & Technology

University of Macau, Macau SAR

China

slide2

Systems Architecting of IS Support for Learning Organizations: The Scenario-Based Design Challenge in Human Activity Systems

Motivation

The Situation of Concern

The Organizational Context for IS Solution

The Problem of Designing IS Support

The Idea of Scenario-Based Development

Systems Architecting of IS Support for Learning Organizations

Challenges for Continuing Development

motivation
Motivation

Digital Era – Organizational activities, including learning increasingly being virtualized over the Internet, implying the need for renewed IS support;

Organization Transformation – Enterprises including educational institutions seen willingly renewed from being mechanistic (linear) to being organic (dynamic), in their approach to delivering services.

the situation of concern
The Situation of Concern
  • The challenge of this knowledge economy is organization transformation: away from being a mindless machine towards being a living organism;
  • Methodology + Philosophy -> Emergent nature; conceptual distinction between functional requirements and the means for realization in practice;
  • Management practice -> The means for reaching a goal is continually and routinely evaluated in relation to emergent criteria; accommodating a dynamically changing organizational and technological environment;
  • IS Support for knowledge work should serve as an organizing framework by which concepts and goals may be formulated, extended, and synthesized.
the organizational context for is solution
The Organizational Context for IS Solution
  • Places where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together (Peter Senge: The Fifth Discipline 1990).
  • An organization which focuses on developing and using its information and knowledge capabilities in order to create higher-value information and knowledge, to modify behaviors to reflect new knowledge and insights, and to improve bottom-line results (David Garvin: Building a Learning Organization 1993).
the problem of designing is support
The Problem of Designing IS Support
  • Clarifying the Problem
  • Identifying Design Moves
  • Envisioning the Solution
  • Recognizing Trade-offs and Dependencies
  • Anticipating Impacts on Human Activity
the idea of scenario based development
The Idea of Scenario-Based Development
  • Moving away from working with the idea of an obvious problem which required solution;
  • Moving towards the idea of working with a situation which some people, for various reasons, may regard as in need of solutions.
scenario based development sbd contd
Scenario-Based Development – SBD (contd)

Principles:

  • Understand people’s needs;
  • Envision new activities and technologies;
  • Design effective prototypes;
  • Draw lessons learned from the systems prototyped.
the why of sbd in the is context
The WHY of SBD in the IS Context
  • To ensure that the IS environment is aligned with the organizational imperatives
  • To help build an IS environment that is extensible and capable of accommodating changes
  • To communicate appropriate views of the IS solution among various stakeholders
  • To help keep the IS environment intellectually manageable
the what of sbd in the is context
The WHAT of SBD in the IS Context
  • Any system which serves another cannot be modeled until a definition and model of the system served is available;
  • Appropriate levels of abstraction are installed to fulfill the needs of different stakeholders;
  • Models of human activity systems should consist of structured sets of verbs which stakeholders could in principle directly carry out.
  • Ideas: What services + For whom + In what ways + Under what circumstances
the how of sbd in the is context
The HOW of SBD in the IS Context

IS Design as a process of learning through the idea of human activity systems (HAS);

  • Find out about the problem situation that has provoked concerns;
  • Select relevant concepts that may be integrated into different human activity systems;
  • Create HAS models from the relevant accounts of purposeful activity;
  • Use the models to question the real-world situation in a comparison phase.
  • The debate generated should point a way to possible improvements of the problem situation.

(Peter Checkland 1999)

systems architecting of is support for learning organization
Systems Architecting of IS Support for Learning Organization
  • Start from a careful account of the purposeful activity served by the system.
  • From that, work out what informational support is required by people carrying out the activity.
  • Treat the creation of that support as a collaborative effort between technical experts and those who truly understand the purposeful action served.
  • Ensure that both system creation and system use are treated as opportunities for continuous learning.
a model of knowledge synthesis
A Model of Knowledge Synthesis

Basic Model:

  • Selectively perceive parts of the world;
  • Attribute meaning to what we perceive;
  • Make judgment about our perceptions;
  • Form intentions to take particular actions;
  • Carry out the actions.

For

  • The personal process
  • The social process
  • The organizational process
a has model for organizational is work
A HAS Model for Organizational IS Work
  • Element 1: people (individual + groups)
  • Element 2: perceived world
  • Element 3: organizational discourse
  • Element 4: meaning attributions
  • Element 5: assemblies of meanings, intentions, and accommodations
  • Element 6: purposeful action
  • Element 7: IS support

Elements (1-5) process -- organizational context where people create meanings and intentions;

Element (6) main outcome of the process – purposeful action;

Element (7) a form of support for the process.

the hard and soft problems of is work
The Hard and Soft Problems of IS Work

Systems Engineering (‘hard’ systems methodology) practice:

-- at the start of a systems study, it is necessary to define the need, the aim to be achieved, the system which when engineered, will meet the need, the mission to be accomplished;

-- given the definition, the systems approach then enables us to select a means of achieving the desired end which is presumably efficient;

-- the taken-as-given assumption is that the world can be taken to be a set of interacting systems, some of which do not work very well and can be engineered to work better;

-- the issue is goal-oriented: How can we provide an efficient means to meet the specific objective?

Dilemma:

In problems involving purposeful human activities, goals are often obscure, and it is often not possible to take for granted the concept of a problem, and the activity of trying to solve it. In fact, there are always many possible versions of the system to be engineered or improved, and systems boundaries and objectives may well be impossible to define.

hard systems methodology
Hard Systems Methodology
  • The project can be taken to be a set of interacting systems, some of which do not work well and can be engineered to work better.
  • The ‘hard’ approach can be described by:

1) Define the problem

2) Assemble the appropriate techniques

3) Use techniques to derive possible solutions

4) Select most suitable solution

5) Implement the solution

soft systems methodology
Soft Systems Methodology
  • The project can be taken to be very complex, problematical, and mysterious;
  • Our coping with the project, the process of inquiry into it, can itself be organized as a learning system;
  • The use of the word ‘system’ is no longer applied to the project, but the process of our dealing with the project;
  • The ‘soft’ approach can be described by:

1) Define the situation that has provoked concerns

2) Express the situation with different sets of concerns

3) Select concepts that may be relevant

4) Assemble concepts into an intellectual structure, e.g. (HAS)

5) Use this structure to explore the situation

6) Define changes to the situation as the problems to be tackled

7) Implement the change process

challenges for continuing development
Challenges for Continuing Development
  • Sustainable IS development is based on a continual innovation of organizational IS support created via individual scenarios of human activities;
  • Complete organizational knowledge of human activities for knowledge work is hardly created only by the IS professionals when individuals keep modifying their knowledge through interactions with other organizational members;
  • In examining real-life scenarios characterized by purposeful action, we can always think about the world in different ways, relate these concepts to our experience of the world, and so form judgments, which can affect our intentions and ultimately design actions;
  • Always an inquiring process to employ SSM-based scenarios to craft the suitable context of IS support
challenges contd
Challenges (contd)

The LUMAS interpretation

Here a user, U,appreciating a methodology, M, as a coherent set of principles, and perceiving a problem situation, S, asks himself: What can I do?

He then tailors from M a specific approach, A, regarded as appropriate for S, and uses it to improve the situation. This generates learning, L, which may both change U and his appreciations of the methodology: future versions of all the elements LUMAS, may be different as a result of each enactment of the process.