Shared understanding during design and delivery: the case of a large-scale information systems program

Fortune, Joyce; Peters, Geoffrey and Short, Lawson (2015). Shared understanding during design and delivery: the case of a large-scale information systems program. International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 7(4) pp. 327–338.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1504/IJPOM.2015.073143

Abstract

The paper reports the findings of research undertaken during the design and delivery of a large-scale integrated public sector information system. Its purpose was to investigate whether shared understanding existed amongst those working together to develop the system. Through a series of interviews, the research looked at the consistency and coherence of key actors’ perceptions of the information system’s purposes and the interconnectedness of its parts. It was found that even at the highest levels, such as the programme’s overall aims, the interviewees showed little agreement or commonality of view. Although one cannot generalise from single case research, the findings are significant given the programme was not selected because it was thought to be distinctive or because it showed any particular signs of faltering. The authors suggest that in future attention needs to be paid to directional aspects of complexity and ways of envisioning the futures.

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