Creativity in the Information Systems Planning Process

Creativity in the Information Systems Planning Process

Vitor M. Santos (New University of Lisbon, Portugal), Luis Amaral (University of Minho, Portugal), Henrique S. Mamede (University Aberta, INESC TEC, Portugal) and Ramiro Gonçalves (University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8833-9.ch008


In face of growing global competition, the ability of organizations to effectively use information technologies to deliver innovation and creativity is widely recognized as an important competitive advantage. In this context, knowledge of how to apply creativity techniques to information systems planning becomes particularly relevant. This chapter presents a framework for the introduction of creativity in Information Systems Planning. The framework aims at promoting the development of innovative Information Systems, which traditional methods of requirements elicitation fail to address. Finally, we discuss how the framework was implemented at a public organization to identify information systems opportunities.
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Creativity In Information Systems Planning

The role of Information Systems Planning has become crucial for the development of effective strategic plans in organizations (Lederer, 1991) and (Chen, 2010). The increasing uncertainty in the markets has encouraged organizations to be more proactive. On the one hand, information technology provides a set of opportunities for gaining competitive advantage. This requires strategic alignment and a fit of Information Systems with the strategies, goals and operations of organizations. On the other hand, organizations acknowledge that the ability to provide a quick response to unforeseeable events is paramount for their survival (Alleire, 1989).

Although the importance of creativity in Information Systems Planning is recognized and even a key component in the main ISP approaches – such as the three-stage model of Bowman (1983) and the multi-dimensional approach of Earl (1989) - research in this area has been scarce.

In another respect, Ruohonen & Higgins analyzed the potential of activity theory in ISP (Ruohonen, 1998). Their analysis was divided into three distinct time frames that followed an ISP evolutionary perspective and the relationship of creativity and Information Systems Planning in each time frame was discussed.

Horton & Dewar (2001) proposed the use of formalized Alexandrine patterns to encapsulate the creative aspects of strategic Information Systems formation (Horton, 2001). They used a United Kingdom police force as a case study, which allowed them to derive two patterns that show the uses of creative practice in a political micro-organism.

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