Combining method engineering with activity theory: Theoretical grounding of the method component concept

  • Karlsson F
  • Wistrand K
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Abstract

The complex and demanding business of developing information systems often involves the use of different systems development methods such as the Rational Unified Process or the Microsoft Solution Framework. Through these methods the development organisation can be viewed as a collective of actors following different rules in the form of prescribed actions in order to guide a work process in accord with activity theory. Very often standardised systems development methods need tailoring for unique projects and strategies for this process have been labelled method engineering. Method configuration, a sub-discipline to method engineering, is applicable in situations where a single base method is used as a starting point for the engineering process. A meta-method (method for method configuration) has been developed addressing these issues. A fundamental part of this meta-method is the method component construct as a means to facilitate efficient and rationally motivated modularisation of systems development methods. This paper is an exploration of possible benefits of combining activity theory and method engineering as theoretical grounding of the method component concept.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Activity theory
  • Method component
  • Method configuration
  • Method engineering
  • Situational method

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