Pilot Implementations: Enacted, Embedded, Relational, Multiple

Maria Ie Manikas

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandling


This PhD dissertation engages in the study of pilot (system) implementation. In the field of information systems, pilot implementations are commissioned as a way to learn from real use of a pilot system with real data, by real users during an information systems development (ISD) project and before the final system is implemented. Among others, their use is argued to investigate the fit between the technical design and the organisational use. But what is a pilot implementation really? In this dissertation, I set out to address this conceptual question.

I initially investigate this question by conducting a literature review. The concept of pilot implementation, although commonly used in practice, is rather disregarded in research. In the literature, pilot implementations are mainly treated as secondary to the learning outcomes and are presented as merely a means to acquire knowledge about a given objective. The prevalent understanding is that pilot implementations are an ISD technique that extends prototyping from the lab and into test during real use. Another perception is that pilot implementations are a project multiple of co-existing enactments of the pilot implementation. From this perspective tensions and negotiations are fundamental characteristics of pilot implementations.

Based on the analysis of a project that is pilot implementing an electronic pre-hospital patient record for emergency medical services in Danish health care, I investigate other perceptions of pilot implementations. The analysis is conducted by means of a theoretical framework that centres on the concept infrastructure. With infrastructure I understand the relation between organised practice and the information systems supporting this practice. Thus, infrastructure is not a thing but a relational and situated concept that emerges between people in practice. This understanding allows me to analyse pilot implementations as an emergent and relational phenomenon that emerges for project participants in the relation between an existing infrastructure and a pilot system.

Based on the analysis I propose the conceptual understanding of pilot implementations as enacted interventions into existing infrastructures. Moreover, being embedded in the day-to-day organisation of work pilot implementations intervenes in the conventions of practice making the taken for granted visible. This allows project participants to attend the needs of today while enacting a possible future.
ForlagRoskilde Universitet
Antal sider122
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2016
NavnRoskilde Universitet. Computer Science. Computer Science Research Report

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