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Design Science Introduction

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A brief introduction to Design Science for Information Systems by Paul Johannesson at KTH/Stockholm University. The presentation builds on the work by Alan Hevner and others.

A brief introduction to Design Science for Information Systems by Paul Johannesson at KTH/Stockholm University. The presentation builds on the work by Alan Hevner and others.

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  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. A goal model has many different purposes, where the most important one is to identify the goals of an enterprise. For a company, there can be goals like being the market leader in its industry, having an image as a low-cost provider, and providing top-level customer service. A goal model should also show how goals are interrelated to each other. For example, a goal can be divided into subgoals. It can also happen that some goals are in conflict with each other, i.e. they cannot all be achieved at the same time. A goal model should also identify the means that an organisation uses to achieve its goals. Examples of means for achieving the goal of good customer service are to call customers personally, to ensure that waiting times are short, and to deal with customers in a friendly way. Finally, a goal model should identify so called influencers. These are states of affairs that have an impact on goals and means. One kind of influencers are threats that may make it difficult to achieve a goal or use some means, e.g. if new competitors have appeared it may become difficult to increase the market share. Another kind of influencers are opportunities that make it easier to achieve certain goals and use certain means, e.g. new technology may make it easier to provide good customer service. En målmodell har flera syften, det viktigaste är att identifiera de mål en verksamhet har. För ett företag kan det t.ex. vara att maximera vinsten, att öka omsättningen eller att gå in på nya marknader. Vidare skall en målmodell visa hur målen hänger ihop med varandra. Det kan vara så att visa mål inte kan uppnås samtidigt, att de ligger i konflikt med varandra. Men det kan också vara så att ett mål stödjer ett annat mål. Modellen skall identfiera problem som kan göra det svårt att uppnå ett visst mål. Om ett företag har fått nya konkurrenter kan det t.ex. vara svårt att öka omsättningen. Till sist skall modellen också visa på möjligheter som finns, möjligheter som kan göra det lättare att uppnå vissa mål. Det kan t.ex. vara så att det kommit fram en ny teknik och den gör det lättare att uppnå något mål.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. To make the concepts of a goal model more concrete, we take an example for a pizzeria. We assume that the pizzeria wants to have high customer satisfaction, so this becomes a goal in the goal model. The goal of high customer satisfaction can be decomposed into two subgoals. One subgoal is to deliver the pizzas in an expedient amount of time. Another subgoal is to provide high quality pizzas. We can find a means that supports the goal of providing high quality pizzas, namely to use ingredients of very high quality. Going back to the first subgoal, we can find two influencers that have an impact on it. The first is a threat, that there is often traffic congestion, which means that it may become difficult to deliver pizzas to the customers’ homes. The second influencer is an opportunity, that other companies offer inexpensive delivery services that the pizzera can use for home delivery. Of course, this slide shows only a small part of a realistic goal model. It needs to be fleshed out by adding more goals, breaking them down, as well as adding more means and influencers. We will see how this can be done, but first we move to some definitions.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. This slide shows the basic concepts of a goal model. First, there are goals that express something a business seeks to accomplish, a desired future state or condition. Like being the market leader in an industry or having a profit of more than 1 million euros. Goals can be decomposed, i.e. one goal can be a part of another goal. Furthermore, there are means , i.e. something that can be used to achieve a goal. A means supports a goal. Means can take different forms, they can be instruments, devices, capabilities, techniques or methods. A means states what an organisation will do or use to achieve a goal, while a goal tells what the organisation views as desirable. Then there are influencers, i.e. states of affairs that can impact an enterprise in its employment of means or achievement of goals. Note that an influencer expresses an objective state of affairs, it just exists, and there is not much the organisation can do about this. In contrast, a goal is something that an organisation decides about – it wants to accomplish the goal. Similarly, a means is something that the organisation chooses itself – it decides to use a means to achieve a goal. Influencers can be positive or negative, they can make it easier or more difficult to achieve a goal. In fact, the same influencer may make it easier to achieve one goal and at the same time make it more difficult to achieve another goal. In order to tell how an influencer impacts a goal or a means, we use assessments. For example, we say that an influencer is a threat for achieving a certain goal, or an opportunity to employ a certain means. We will return to assessments, but before that we will look at one more example. En målmodell kan man rita upp som en graf med tre olika sorters noder och tre olika sorters kanter. De viktigaste noderna i modellen är målen. Ett mål uttrycker ett önskat framtida tillstånd, hur man önskar att världen skall se ut i framtiden. Det kan t.ex. vara “vinsten skall nästa år vara 20%” eller “omsättningen skall nästa år vara 10% högre än i år”. En annan typ av nod är problemen. Ett problem är ett sakförhållande som gör det svårt att uppnå ett mål. Ett problem ges alltså av ett faktum om världen som vi inte själva kan göra något åt, det bara finns där och påverkar oss. Ett mål, däremto, är något som vi själva beslutar oss för, vi vill att målet skall uppnås, bestämmer oss för det. Den tredje typen av nod är möjligheterna. Och en möjlighet är ett sakförhållande som kan hjälpa till att uppnå ett mål. På samma sätt som ett problem så ges en möjlighet av ett faktum om världen. Men en möjlighet är något bar eftersom det hjälper oss att nå ett mål, medan ett problem är dåligt för det hindrar oss att nå ett mål. Sedan finns det det kanter, relationer mellan noderna i målmodellen. Vi har en support-relation om ett mål eller möjlighet stödjer ett annat mål. Och vi har en hinders-relation om ett mål eller problem hindrar ett annat mål. Det kan också finnas en konflikt-relation mellan två mål om man inte kan uppnå båda målen samtidigt.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. Here is an example of a small part of a goal model for a company. It has set up two goals: to be a low cost provider and to have a luxury image. These are states that the company views as desirable, the company wants to achieve these states. The model also shows two means that the company will use to accomplish its goals. In order to be a low cost provider, the company will outsource production. So Means 1 supports Goal 1. Similarly Means 2 supports Goal 2, i.e. in order to have a luxury image, the company will invest in brand marketing. There is also a conflict relationship between the two goals, because they cannot both be achieved at the same time – if you are seen as a low cost provider you cannot have a luxury image and vice versa.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. If you have an abstract goal it is often useful to decompose it into goals on a lower, more concrete level. Concrete goals are needed in order to get some guidance for what means to employ – if the goals are too abstract you cannot know how to achieve them. There are two kinds of goal decomposition, and-decomposition and or-decomposition. In and-decomposition, you take a goal and decompose it into a number of subgoals – and all of these subgoals have to be fulfilled for the higher level goal to be fulfilled. In this figure, we have a high level goal of having a high quality restaurant. This can be decomposed into a number of subgoals, to have appropriate facilities, to have a good chef, to have high quality suppliers. And it is not sufficient that one of these goals is fulfilled for us to have a high quality restaurant – all of the subgoals have to be fulfilled. Now, we are at such a low level that we can identify means for accomplishing the goals. In order to have a good chef, we use two means - to identify a number of good chefs, and to design an offer that attracts a good chef. In principle you can continue breaking down goals forever, but in practice you stop when you are able to identify appropriate means, as illustrated in this example.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. The other form of goal decomposition is or-decomposition. Here you take a goal and decompose it into a number of subgoals, and it suffices that only one of these subgoals are satisfied for the higher level goal to be satisfied. In this figure, the top level goal is to have an unusual restaurant, which is a goal that can be accomplished in different ways. The restaurant can be under water, the menu can be unusual, or the interior decoration can be strange. And it is sufficient that just one of the goals is satisfied for the top goal to be satisfied. And at this lower level, we can start identifying means for achieving the goals.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. The other form of goal decomposition is or-decomposition. Here you take a goal and decompose it into a number of subgoals, and it suffices that only one of these subgoals are satisfied for the higher level goal to be satisfied. In this figure, the top level goal is to have an unusual restaurant, which is a goal that can be accomplished in different ways. The restaurant can be under water, the menu can be unusual, or the interior decoration can be strange. And it is sufficient that just one of the goals is satisfied for the top goal to be satisfied. And at this lower level, we can start identifying means for achieving the goals.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. In order to understand how influencers can impact goals and means, it is useful to distinguish between two types of influencers, external and internal. An external influencer exists outside the organisational boundaries of an enterprise. It can be about a competitor, that is taking market shares from an organisation. It can be about customers that have recently started to do business with an organisation. It can be about new laws and other regulations issued by some authority like a government body. Or it can be about new technology that enables or restricts certain activities in the enterprise. There are also internal influencers that exist within an enterprise. It could be a habit, i.e. a customary practice or use. For example that managers are generally promoted from within the organisation. It could be about the infrastructure of the enterprise or about its resources. For example, that the quality of some facilities is high while that of others is low.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. In order to understand how influencers can impact goals and means, it is useful to distinguish between two types of influencers, external and internal. An external influencer exists outside the organisational boundaries of an enterprise. It can be about a competitor, that is taking market shares from an organisation. It can be about customers that have recently started to do business with an organisation. It can be about new laws and other regulations issued by some authority like a government body. Or it can be about new technology that enables or restricts certain activities in the enterprise. There are also internal influencers that exist within an enterprise. It could be a habit, i.e. a customary practice or use. For example that managers are generally promoted from within the organisation. It could be about the infrastructure of the enterprise or about its resources. For example, that the quality of some facilities is high while that of others is low.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. In order to understand how influencers can impact goals and means, it is useful to distinguish between two types of influencers, external and internal. An external influencer exists outside the organisational boundaries of an enterprise. It can be about a competitor, that is taking market shares from an organisation. It can be about customers that have recently started to do business with an organisation. It can be about new laws and other regulations issued by some authority like a government body. Or it can be about new technology that enables or restricts certain activities in the enterprise. There are also internal influencers that exist within an enterprise. It could be a habit, i.e. a customary practice or use. For example that managers are generally promoted from within the organisation. It could be about the infrastructure of the enterprise or about its resources. For example, that the quality of some facilities is high while that of others is low.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. The other form of goal decomposition is or-decomposition. Here you take a goal and decompose it into a number of subgoals, and it suffices that only one of these subgoals are satisfied for the higher level goal to be satisfied. In this figure, the top level goal is to have an unusual restaurant, which is a goal that can be accomplished in different ways. The restaurant can be under water, the menu can be unusual, or the interior decoration can be strange. And it is sufficient that just one of the goals is satisfied for the top goal to be satisfied. And at this lower level, we can start identifying means for achieving the goals.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. In order to understand how influencers can impact goals and means, it is useful to distinguish between two types of influencers, external and internal. An external influencer exists outside the organisational boundaries of an enterprise. It can be about a competitor, that is taking market shares from an organisation. It can be about customers that have recently started to do business with an organisation. It can be about new laws and other regulations issued by some authority like a government body. Or it can be about new technology that enables or restricts certain activities in the enterprise. There are also internal influencers that exist within an enterprise. It could be a habit, i.e. a customary practice or use. For example that managers are generally promoted from within the organisation. It could be about the infrastructure of the enterprise or about its resources. For example, that the quality of some facilities is high while that of others is low.
  • [Title of the course] Nov 14, 2009 Copyright © 2004-2005 NameOfTheOrganization. All rights reserved. In order to understand how influencers can impact goals and means, it is useful to distinguish between two types of influencers, external and internal. An external influencer exists outside the organisational boundaries of an enterprise. It can be about a competitor, that is taking market shares from an organisation. It can be about customers that have recently started to do business with an organisation. It can be about new laws and other regulations issued by some authority like a government body. Or it can be about new technology that enables or restricts certain activities in the enterprise. There are also internal influencers that exist within an enterprise. It could be a habit, i.e. a customary practice or use. For example that managers are generally promoted from within the organisation. It could be about the infrastructure of the enterprise or about its resources. For example, that the quality of some facilities is high while that of others is low.

Transcript

  • 1. Design Science A Paradigm for Information Systems Research
  • 2. A Dilemma
    • Rigour
      • Exactness
      • Precision
      • Following rules
    • Relevance
      • Useful
      • Practical
      • Timely
  • 3. Two Research Paradigms
    • Behavioural Science
      • develop and verify theories that explain or predict human or organizational behavior
    • Design Science
      • extend the boundaries of human and organizational capabilities by creating new and innovative artifacts
  • 4. IS Research Cycle From a presentation by A. Hevner, http://misrc.umn.edu/seminars/slides/2006/12152006_Seminar_Color.pdf
  • 5. Design is an Artifact
    • Constructs
      • Provides the language in which to define problems and solutions
    • Models
      • Use constructs to represent a real world situation
    • Methods
      • Provide guidance on how to solve problems
    • Instantiations
      • Implement constructs, models and methods in a working system
  • 6. Design is a Process
    • Build
      • Construct the artifact
    • Evaluate
      • Assess the utility of the artifact
  • 7. Design is a Wicked Problem
      • Unstable Requirements and Constraints
      • Complex Interactions among Subcomponents of Problem and resulting Subcomponents of Solution
      • Inherent Flexibility to Change Artifacts and Processes
      • Dependence on Human Cognitive Abilities - Creativity
      • Dependence on Human Social Abilities - Teamwork
  • 8. Design Science Framework From Hevner et al. ”Design Science in IS Research”, MIS Quarterly, 2004
  • 9. Design Science Guidelines
    • Design as an Artifact
    • Design science research must produce a viable artifact in the form of a construct, a model, a method, or an instantiation
    • Problem Relevance
    • The objective of design science research is to develop technology based solutions to important and relevant business problems
  • 10. Design Science Guidelines
    • Design Evaluation
    • The utility and quality of a design artifact must be demonstrated via well executed evaluation methods
    • Communication of Research
    • Design science research must be well presented both to technology oriented and management oriented audiences
  • 11. Design Science Evaluation From Hevner et al. ”Design Science in IS Research”, MIS Quarterly, 2004
  • 12. Design Science = Design? From Hevner et al. ”Design Science in IS Research”, MIS Quarterly, 2004 Relevance Cycle Design Cycle Rigor Cycle
  • 13. An Exercise
    • Identify Challenges to Design Science!
  • 14. More Information
    • http://syslab.dsv.su.se/group/scientificwritingandresearchmethodology/forum/topics/design-science