Developing Firmer Grounds for Client-Led Design of Information Systems
The design and development of modern information systems requires the use of both soft systems methods and hard systems techniques in an integrated manner. This paper is an attempt as the first step to incorporate some concepts developed in Automated Modelling work (Xia & Smith, 1996) into the approach of the client-led design of modern information systems (Stowell & West, 1994). In particular it intends to apply the automated modelling framework to substantiate the interpretivist philosophy (Stowell, 1996), which was adopted in the client-led design approach. This framework is basically concerned with relating and considering all the relevant issues surrounding the design and use of an information system, which include environment and boundary, decision-making rules, designer’s expertise, application, design, and general observation. Some of these issues are complementary to others and some are in direct conflict. A design of an information system will be a result of an overall consideration and compromise of these issues. Strictly speaking this automated modelling approach is still very much rationalistic in the sense that it still applies the activities of decomposition, quantification and then composition in its underlying problem solving process. However the reference model, based on which the activities are applied, is built at a much lower level than that adopted by the rationalistic or posivitist tradition of design. As a result this makes it easier to carry out the client-led design and closer to the interpretivist philosophy. The primary motivation of this work is to stir discussion on some concepts, rather than to reach any conclusions.
KeywordsAutomate Modelling Firm Ground Direct Conflict Task Decomposition Positivist Tradition
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