The Possibility of Linking SSM with Object-Oriented Information Systems Development

  • Ying Liang


Many object-oriented methods such as OMT (Object Modelling Technique) (Rumbaugh, Blaha, Premerlani, Eddy, and Lorensen, 1991), OOSE (Object-Oriented Software Engineering) (Jacobson, Christerson, Jonsson, and Overgaard, 1992), Booch (1994) have been created and can be used in object-oriented information systems development. These methods are hard system methods which address the ‘hard’ system thinking. This means that they focus on only describing the things and information that exist in a problem situation and specify them as objects to object models. Similar to conventional information systems methods, object-oriented methods have also lack of an activity of appreciating and understanding a real-world problem situation before building an object model for the problem and describing a boundary of an information system in the development. The lack is thought harmful both to individual development projects and to the evolution of methods and many projects have failed because their requirements were inadequately explored and described (Jackson, 1995). In order to overcome the lack, appreciating and understanding a real-world problem situation in a human environment should be emphasised and added as a special activity to the process of development. As Cook and Daniels suggest (1994), a “soft” approach may benefit the identification and abstraction of objects from messy and complex problem situations. SSM (Soft System Methodology) (Checkland and Scholes, 1993) is such an approach that concentrates on purposeful human activities in the problem by reflecting about the real world using systems concepts, within the human environment and the needs of an organisation. In this paper, we discuss the possibility of linking SSM with object-oriented information systems development by focusing on four essential modelling principles addressed by object-oriented methods and considering how a conceptual model can be used to build an object model.


Problem Situation Soft System Methodology Library System Library Person Membership Number 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Liang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computing and Information SystemsUniversity of PaisleyPaisleyUK

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