Synergizing Systems : Using SSM in prototypical system development
Abstract: This thesis is concerned with a research project conducted with a Swedish company to provide recommendations for developing a prototypical information system for the company. The system’s goal was to consolidate data regarding the company’s supply chain and packaging conditions in order to find improvements in packaging development. The thesis employed the use of Soft Systems Methodology to aid with the system development process. A qualitative explorative study was designed for this purpose. Soft Systems Methodology was used after exploring alternative methodologies. This was chosen as the researchers found it important to engage the case company in the system development process. Four semi-structured interviews and two workshops with the relevant officials were the main methods of collecting data. Models such as a rich picture, CATWOE and PQR formula were utilized during the research to visualize important aspects of the system development process. As a result of the research, the researchers were able to provide the company with recommendations for how to further proceed with the development process. Another result of the study was that Soft Systems Methodology was able to unlock tacit information. The methodology also allowed for a consideration of the implementation of an iterative process to support the development. The results of this research suggest that introducing and making use of Soft Systems Methodology is very stimulating in an environment not already using it. The research provided insights needed for progress towards a successful implementation of a new information system, and contributes a real-world SSM case in a corporate environment. The researchers also suggest future opportunities for research that could further build on the work presented in the thesis.
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