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Lecture 1: Introduction


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Title: Lecture 1: Introduction

Lecture 1 Introduction
  • Jarmo Sarkkinen

ICWPT Aims description
  • To provide an understandable, both theoretical
    and practical, introduction to the emerging field
    of implementing meaningful changes in work
    practices (WP) and technologies (T) on IT
    development projects. More specific aims include
    the following ones. To demonstrate which social
    (situational, institutional and societal) issues
    may have a central role in the course of
    implementing changes in WPT. To emphasize that
    change is more than providing IT it is also a
    matter of dealing with IT in work, as part of
    work systems and practices. To emphasize issues
    such as diversity of viewpoints, voices and
    representations of design. To emphasize what
    developer skills, qualifications and orientations
    are needed. To stress the importance of
    understanding the role of human interaction,
    intersubjectivity and understanding as factors of
    successful change processes. Finally, the aim is
    to introduce a set of methods grounding changes
    in IT upon stakeholder viewpoints, and work, work
    systems and practices.

ICWPT Lectures discussions
  • 28h gt 3 cu/5 cp
  • Lectures (11.1.-23.2.06) will be held on
    Wednesdays at 10-12 am (Place Auditorio) and on
    Thursdays at 10-12 am (Place Etäluokka)
  • No exercises, but approx. 5 articles will be read
    and they are discussed in a couple of
    get-togethers both in groups and in public
  • These get-togethers are basically mandatory (at
    least 4 of these will be arranged later)

  • Exam 1 2.3.2006
  • Exam 2 on April
  • Exam 3 on May
  • Exam 4 on June?
  • Material for exams include
  • Lecture slides, your own lecture notes (be
    active!) and some book chapters and articles
    (those to be discussed plus some additional but
    easily digestible texts to be announced later)

  • Responsible lecturer
  • Jarmo Sarkkinen /Dept. of IT
  • jarmo.sarkkinen_at_utu.fi
  • Tel. 02-333 8644
  • Room 2158

ICWPT Material
  • Literature and any other relevant reading
    material will be announced as part of lectures,
    and information together with links (if possible)
    will be added on the course home page
    http//staff.cs.utu.fi/kurssit/ICWPT/ after each
  • Lecture slides as ppt files will be accessible
    through web on the course home page after
    lectures as well.
  • Distribution of articles not available on web?

ICWPT Rules of the game numerical evaluation
  • Final exam 0-5
  • Participation in (basically mandatory) group
    discussions with the active group participation
    in public discussions may increase group members
    final score up to the higher score in borderline

ICWPT Content
  • Four thematic parts of the course
  • Conceptual basis
  • The developer view
  • The interaction view
  • Methods of change

  • To implement is to
  • put into practical effect
  • carry out
  • supply with implements
  • An implement is
  • a tool or instrument used in doing work
  • a means of achieving an end
  • To implement changes
  • ???

IS implementation four views
  • as technology acceptance
  • as organizational change
  • as organizational problem-solving involving
    mutual adaptation
  • as meaning construction seen through a critical
    framework as totality of meanings as part of
    social reality with (un)intended results (Myers

  1. NOT a matter of requirements elicitation,
    requirements analysis or requirements planning
  2. During pre-implementation (NOT actual
  3. During early stages of ISD
  4. Is a matter of changes (NOT of systems and
    technologies as such)
  5. Implemented on paper or on computer (NOT as
    systems or technologies)
  6. Representations of changes (NOT actual changes
    within organizations)

  1. To plan a change in work practices and
    technologies is already to implement it to some
  2. Carried out during interaction in development
  3. Is a matter of constrained construction of
    objects of change
  4. Process matters (Keil 1991) (NOT factors)

IS success
  • The common belief in the development of IS has
    been that user participation is a condition for
    success, for a high-quality process of
    development and the system itself
  • Positive consequences such as system usage and
    user information satisfaction may follow
  • The relationship between user participation and
    system success is, after all, an issue of dispute

Factors of success
IS success (e.g., system use user satisfaction)
But what is (user) participation?
IS/IT failure
  • Failure rates are high
  • How to define failure?
  • Absolute system failure (termination failure)
  • Correspondence failure
  • Process failure
  • Interaction failure
  • Expectation failure

Failing to learn--learning to fail
  • E.g., American companies spent 59 billion in
    1995 in cost overruns on runaway IS projects
  • Failing to learn from organizational experiences
  • Failing to learn effective means for solving
    problems and even learning to fail
  • The Taurus project (Drummond 1996)

Model of learning failure (Lyytinen Robey
Failure to learn
Persistence of Invalid Myths-in-Use
Barriers to learning -Limits on
intelligence -Disincentives to
learning -Organizational design -Educational
Learned Failure in ISD
Temptations behind IS/IT mess (Alter 2005)
  • Technology system
  • Technology is a magic bullet
  • No responsibility for systems
  • No performance measurements
  • Superficial analysis
  • One-dimensional thinking
  • The assumption that desired changes will
    implement themselves

Participation processes and interaction, and
IS/IT success
  • To study participation itself, instead of
    measuring the significance of factors such as
    user involvement for the success of
    participation, the user participation process
    needs to be concerned (Cavaye 1995). As part of
    this process, the dynamics of the user-analyst
    relationship, the interaction itself, is seen to
    affect the extent and effectiveness of the
    process significantly (ibid., p.314). It is,
    however, insufficient in heterogeneous design
    teams if the focus is merely on shop-floor users.
    The participation view thus needs to extend to
    include many types of professionals, managerial
    personnel, for example (Markus Mao 2004).

Change three facets of IS
  • System
  • Group collaboration
  • Organization

Change the system facet
  • IT as a key element of change (i.e., object of
  • Heterogeneity and incompatibility among systems
  • The seamless IS infrastructure
  • Data sharing and functionality across systems
    independently of the platform

Change the group collaboration facet
  • People working on a common process
  • Activities coordinated, contingencies dealt with,
    and practices changed through discussion and
  • Unpredictability

Change the organizational facet
  • Managing work
  • Global organizational concerns, organizational
    objectives and business goals, policies,
    regulations, work flow and project plans
  • Initial requirements for large systems typically
    originate in this facet

Interrelationships between facets
  • How do changes in one facet
    entail changes to another facet?

The work system framework (Alter 2005)
  • Focusing on work, not just IT
  • A work system is a system in which human
    participants and/or machines perform work using
    information, technology, and other resources to
    produce products and/or services for internal or
    external customers
  • Key elements include work practices,
    participants, information and technologies

Work practice (WP)
  • Rarely defined
  • Practice
  • habitual or customary performance,
  • the act or process of doing something
    performance or action, a habitual or customary
    action or way of doing something, a habit or
    custom, or exercise of an occupation or
  • WP a customary way of doing work

Work practice (WP)
  • Work practice accounts for
  • the concrete and mundane activities of
    practitioners as they are encountered by the
    members of work communities in the everyday
    settings with the interest in the processes of
    interaction between practitioners and their use
    of the material media and tools as well as
    technological environment (Karasti 2001, p.26)
  • The book Inside the IMF by R.H.R. Harper (1998)

The work system framework (Alter 2005)
What is wrong with this figure?
Final notes
  • Whichever the period of ISD, current and future
    work practices and technologies are not
    necessarily separated in discussions
  • There is no predetermined contents for
    discussions carried out in different periods of
  • It is normal that during requirements
    determination, people test ideas, and during
    system testing determine requirements
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