A role for soft systems methodology in information systems development

Winter, M. C. and Brown, D. H. and Checkland, P. B. (1995) A role for soft systems methodology in information systems development. European Journal of Information Systems, 4 (3). pp. 130-142. ISSN 0960-085X

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Recent years have seen a growing interest in the use of soft systems methodology (SSM) in work related to computer-based information systems (IS). Against this background, this paper seeks to identify and define, more fully than hitherto, a role for SSM in information systems development which stems from its fundamental principles. Since SSM sees computer-based information systems as systems which serve purposeful human action, the notion of ‘information system’ in SSM is one that necessarily involves two systems, a ‘serving’ system (the information system) and a ‘served’ system of purposeful action. This notion of ‘information system’ leads to certain principles for IS development. These are expressed in the form of a model, referred to as the ‘information system/information system development model’ (IS/ISDM). This model is used to examine several conventional approaches to information systems development including the widely used UK government method SSADM, in order to identify where, in IS work, soft systems ideas might best make a contribution. A possible role for SSM is identified and a brief description of this role is given at the end of the paper.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
European Journal of Information Systems
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? information systemslibrary and information sciences ??
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Deposited On:
02 Dec 2019 16:51
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 20:10