Using Causal Mapping to Support Information Systems Development: Some Considerations

Using Causal Mapping to Support Information Systems Development: Some Considerations

Fran Ackermann (Strathclyde Business School, UK) and Colin Eden (Strathclyde Business School, UK)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-396-8.ch011
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Abstract

Identifying what different stakeholders in a business need from Information Systems development has always been seen as problematic. There are numerous cases of failure as projects run over time, over budget, and, most significantly, do not meet the needs of the user population. Whilst having a structured design process can go some way towards reducing the potential of failure, these methodologies do not attend sufficiently to clarifying and agreeing objectives or to considering the social and cultural elements inherent in the ownership and adoption of any new system. Instigating an effective, and structured, dialogue between users, developers and, when appropriate, sponsors, is therefore a critical consideration. Linking user needs, as they see them, to the language of IS developers and vice versa is crucial. Both parties need ownership. This chapter focuses upon the use of causal mapping, supported where appropriate by special software, that facilitates the development of a shared understanding (of both business needs and IT opportunities) and through this common platform enables a negotiated and agreed outcome. The nature of the outcome invites translation to structured design processes.

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