Configuring information systems and work practices for each other

What competences are needed locally?

Morten Hertzum, Jesper Simonsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Previously technical design was the realm of software engineers; now it is increasingly completed by users who configure systems after go-live. To exploit the possibilities afforded by systems the users also adapt their practices in response to their systems. The process of configuring systems and practices for each other is rich in local particulars, protracted in time, and demanding in competences. In this study we catalog the competences needed locally to accomplish change by configuring systems and practices for each other. The empirical context for the study is a project about reducing hospital patients’ fasting time before surgical operations. We identify and describe 21 competences that must be present locally. They form seven types: managing projects, understanding practice, understanding technology, preparing change, making change, assessing change, and personal traits. The project participants display the competence types with varying frequencies, thereby for example indicating that understanding practice is a larger issue than understanding technology. Preparing and making change are, probably, the two competence types that are most thinly spread locally. The catalog of the competences needed locally to configure systems and practices for each other after go-live can inform decisions about project staffing, competence building, and – more generally – curriculum development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Volume122
Pages (from-to)242-255
Number of pages14
ISSN1071-5819
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Competences
  • Sociotechnical change
  • Systems implementation
  • Design in use
  • Configurability
  • User-driven design

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