This article explores a strategy of mutual adaptation between the
information system and the business process, facilitated by the iterative
and incremental mechanisms of modern SW engineering frameworks. The
concept of mutual adaptation implies that the real innovation of
an information systems project is not the software, but the working
solution after implementation. Too little is known about this phenomenon:
What are the dynamics of mutual adaptation? To what extent is it
possible to control? Which organisational mechanisms facilitate it?
Should planned mutual adaptation be part of an information systems
development project, or is it outside the reasonable scope of such
projects?The article builds on a longitudinal case study from a large
public auditing organisation that developed a new audit process in
parallel with the construction of a new information system to support
it. The project is described through seven iterations as it experiments
with different organisational mechanisms to achieve mutual adaptation.
The dynamics of mutual adaptation is described by a window of opportunity,
where both the information system and the business process are malleable.
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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