- Research Highlight
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The greatest benefits come from a tight fit between organizational processes and the enterprise application software.
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A powerful way to implement advanced software technologies is through incrementalism. Each self-contained implementation sequence achieves a specific business result. Using the strategy at a large manufacturer of office furniture systems, the authors implemented supply-chain-planning and-scheduling software at six sites — on time and within budget. The three critical success factors were technology divisibility, technology and methodology fit, and technology and organization fit.
In order to successfully implement change, both line managers and IT specialists must give up their belief in the magical power of IT. The hard reality of IT-enabled transformation is that change is everyone’s job.
Successfully managing technological change involves the ability to improvise in response to unexpected opportunities. Organizational changes associated with technology implementation don’t have a beginning and an end; they are ongoing. The authors identify three types of change that build on each other over time. Two conditions that enable the use of an improvisational model are internal alignment and adequate resources.
Revolutions, whether the overthrow of governments or breakthroughs in technology, are usually visible. The knowledge revolution, though propelled by the twin engines of computer technology and communication technology, is a revolution of minds and ideas rather than of mass and energy.
THE APPROACHES FOR IMPROVING QUALITY IN MANUFACTURING PROCESSES DON’T WORK ESPECIALLY WELL FOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT. THE AUTHORS provide a quality improvement paradigm for the software industry that builds on manufacturing models but focuses on reused learning and experience by establishing “experience factories.” Their iterative process enables an organization to acquire core competencies to support its strategic capabilities.
The authors track a strategic decision in a Fortune 500 corporation, identify political obstacles that overshadowed the process, and highlight turning points in the strategy’s direction. The unfolding Techno story provides a close look at the implications for organizing team-based processes and managing the politics of technological change.
A NEW KIND OF INFORMATION SYSTEM IS EMERGING THAT WILL REDUCE THE TIME TO MARKET, HELP TAILOR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TO customers’ needs, and make processes more responsive to unexpected events. Expressive systems allow users to adapt quickly and easily to exceptions from standard operating procedure. The authors describe how expressive systems work and suggest ways of modifying the roles and structure of IS departments to implement the new technology.
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