Learning with Information Systems: Learning Cycles in Information Systems Development

By Simon Bell | Go to book overview

9

THE NEXT STEPS
The preceding chapters have been primarily concerned with testing an analysis and design methodology in the context of developing countries. In three separate pieces of fieldwork the methodology has been assessed in terms of its capacity to reflect adequately the needs and constraints of the environment in which computers and related information systems are planned. In Chapter 8 it was argued that Multiview, with certain adaptations and additions to its structure, had been partially successful in meeting the requirements of this context. Two major observations can be made on the fieldwork:
1 That the methodology had to be flexible in adapting to changing needs
2 That the views of all actors in the problem context (analyst/researcher, recipient and donor) need to be taken into account when planning intervention.

In all the fieldwork the assumptions and background of the analyst/ researcher were made explicit at the outset. The result of the exploration of the analyst/researcher’s intellectual background and selected methodology for the area of study was used as an informal means of gauging both the manner in which methodology was applied, and the effects of previous applications of methodology on the current situation. The research described in this book was concerned with making methodology suitable and appropriate to the problem context. One means to achieve this is to improve the synergy between background, methodology and situation, and to use it as a means to arrive at a project plan for the application of analysis and design. In the following section, on further developments, this idea is explored, and the results of the self-analysis are systematically integrated into a single model which provides an action plan for the application of methodology. It is a further purpose of this chapter to provide a mechanism for integrating the views of analyst/researcher, donor and recipient in a unified pre-project analysis. The Board for Technical Education fieldwork in particular indicated that the assumptions of some of the agents working for the donor (in this case some consultants) and those of the recipient were not identical and that the

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Learning with Information Systems: Learning Cycles in Information Systems Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures viii
  • Tables x
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • Abbreviations xiv
  • Summary of Contents xv
  • Part I - Introducing the Context 1
  • 1 - Introduction and Background 3
  • 2 - Information Systems and Planning in Developing Countries 30
  • Part II - The Question and the Approach 57
  • 3 - The Question for This Book 59
  • 4 - Selecting the Research Approach 62
  • Part III - Action-Research Learning 83
  • 5 - Learning Cycle 1: a Department of Roads 85
  • 6 - Learning Cycle 2: an Administrative Staff College 123
  • 7 - Learning Cycle 3: a Board for Technical Education 148
  • Part IV - Overview and Conclusions 175
  • 8 - An Overview of the Learning Process 177
  • 9 - The Next Steps 195
  • Notes 208
  • Bibliography 210
  • Index 224
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