[1] Darrel Ince. Victoria Climbie, Baby P and the Technological Shackling of British Childrens' Social Work. Technical Report 2010/01, January 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
A computer system known as the Integrated Children's System (ICS) was specified by that part of the British government responsible for child welfare -- the Department for Children, Families and Schools (DCSF). The specification was developed in response to the failings of a number of agencies that could have prevented the death of a young child Victoria Climbie. The system specification gave rise to a number of implementations that were deployed in all but one of the local authority departments associated with children's welfare. It did not prevent a second death. This article shows that whatever criterion you use to judge the ICS it failed -- not just in terms of preventing the second death, but in terms of its usability, fitness for purpose and efficiency. The article is a chronicle of the events that lead up to the development of the ICS starting with the death of Victoria Climbie and the deployment of a awed system and concludes with the aftermath following the death of a child known as Baby P. Most of the literature on ICS has concentrated on the deleterious effects on social workers. This article looks at some of the reasons why it is defective. It concludes with two simple solutions. Although in financial terms the failure of ICS is small compared with other system failures in government, in terms of its effect of a whole profession responsible for the care of young people at risk it is large. While this article deals with one particular human-centred systems failure in the United Kingdom its lessons are general and not just specific to a British context.

[2] Darrel Ince and Aled Griffiths. A Chronicling System for Children's Social Work: Learning from the ICS Failure. Technical Report 2010/02, May 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
A major part of the work of British social workers in childrens' departments is interacting with one of a number of instantiations of an IT system known as the Integrated Children's System (ICS) that implements both record keeping and reporting functions. After a relatively short time in operation, the implementation of the system is now regarded as deficient and, disturbingly, there is a body of evidence to suggest that the impact of the implementation has all too often been antithetical to core social work values and ambitions. This article will provide a short review of the evidence and thereafter focus on the front-end processes and documentation that drove the development of the original system. It will also comment on recent government attempts to overcome the problems with ICS and posit a simpler, cheaper and more effective solution. The existence of ICS and the fact that it resembles systems developed for industrial application is symptomatic both of a lack of trust and of the idea that statistical reporting and local micro-management are the keys to better child protection. The article does not address these issues in detail but, hopefully, the suggestions set out here will, if implemented, enhance good practice and the professional satisfaction of social workers charged with child welfare. In the longer term the content could also provide a platform for IT support that will respond to a much needed change in governmental attitudes towards social work. This article describes the mistakes made in developing a specific computer system for child-care. It can be regarded as a case study in how not to develop such systems and how much of the functionality associated with children's social work can be implemented very easily. Although the article is based on one system that is extant in two countries it has a much more general context, both in terms of care provision and international applicability. In international terms reported concerns about inappropriate child care IT systems are not confined to the UK, as can be seen , for example, in the case of Canada, (Baines , 2004) and Australia (Burton and Broek, 2009). In terms of general applicability many of the observations and recommendations made here in relation to ICS could similarly apply to future chronicling systems adopted across adult social care and other areas, such as probation work and health care.

[3] Jon G Hall, Lucia Rapanotti, and Michael Jackson. Problem Oriented Software Engineering. Technical Report 2010/03, January 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
A key challenge for software engineering is to learn how to reconcile the formal world of the machine and its software with the non-formal real world. In this paper, we describe Problem Oriented Software Engineering (POSE),an approach that brings both non-formal and formal aspects of software development together within a single theoretical framework for software engineering design. We show how POSE captures development as the recordable and re-playable design theoretic transformation of software problems. Their representation and transformation allows for the identification and clarification of system requirements, the understanding and structuring of the problem world, the structuring and specification of a hardware/software machine that can ensure satisfaction of the requirements in the problem world, and the construction of adequacy arguments, convincing both to developers and to customers, users and other interested stake-holders, that the system will provide what is needed. Designs are recordable and re-playable through our adaptation of tactics, a (now standard) form of programming language used in transformational proof theoretic presentations. This brings to our system many other benefits of such approaches, including the ability to abstract from a captured design, and to combine programmatically captured designs. This paper provides an example-driven presentation of our framework for software engineering design. Keywords: problem orientation; software engineering; Gentzen-style system; design tactics

[4] Darrel Ince. The Re-development of a Problem System. Technical Report 2010/04, May 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
The Integrated Children's System is a set of computer programs that are used to chronicle the interaction between British social workers and chil- dren in need. It has been the subject of many criticisms from social work- ers, a major trade union and social work academics. This article details a redevelopment of the system that removes the problems with the system and demonstrates the advantages that can be gained in development by employing readily available open-source software. The redevelopment ig- nored the implementation directive in the specification for a record-based system. The advantages are twofold: first it removes the major problems with the system and, second, does it for a fraction of the 80-100m orig- inal cost (the article estimates the full cost of the redevelopment to be c 35k). The article is important in that it details a major reuse effort which resulted in very large savings; describes an approach to software development for human-centred applications that is radically different to the forms, relational database, Java/PHP approach; and is one of the first case studies which shows the dramatic effects of employing open-source software.

[5] Leonor Barroca, Lucia Rapanotti, Marian Petre, Maria Vargas-Vera, and Andrew Reeves. Developing Research Degrees Online. Technical Report 2010/05, February 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
Research degrees have been changing radically in the last twenty years, with an extensive body of work accumulated on improving the practice of research degrees and on developing skills for independent researchers. However, most of this work focuses on full-time residential research degrees, and little attention has been paid to part-time research degrees at a distance. This paper presents a novel research degree, the Virtual MPhil in Computing, offered by The Open University (UK), supported by a blend of technologies, and designed to address this gap. We discuss the support it provides for the development of student community, research dialogue and progress monitoring of distance research students. Keywords-component; technologies, research degree; research skills; distance education; research communities

[6] A Nkwoca, Jon Hall, and Lucia Rapanotti. Design rationale capture for process improvement in the globalised enterprise: an industrial study. Technical Report 2010/06, March 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
Design rationale in software engineering fills in the gaps between the original requirements of a system and the finished product encompassing decisions, constraints and other information that in influenced the outcome. Existing research in this field corroborates the importance of design rationale to capture knowledge assets, particularly in the context of the global enterprise, with its increased risk of knowledge loss through staff movement and attrition. Despite this, the practice of design rationale capture and reuse is not as extensive as could be expected due to reasons which include time and budget constraints and lack of standards and tools. In this paper we report on and industrial study which tested the hypothesis that an emerging design approach - Problem Oriented Engineeering - enables the capture of design rationale as the methodological by-product of software engineering activities, hence potentially addresses concerns over cost effectiveness of in situ design rationale capture. Keywords Design rationale, Process improvement, Problem Orientation, Assurance

[7] Rean van der Merwe. Investigating direct deliberative governance in online social media. PhD Probation Report 2010/07, March 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]

[8] Minh Tran. Influence of 3D Virtual Worlds on Expectations in 2D E-Commerce Environments. PhD Probation Report 2010/08, March 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
This is a first year probation report for the PhD project titled "Influence of 3D Virtual Worlds on Expectations in 2D E-commerce Environments";. The report contains research questions, a literature review, a pilot study report, a research methodology and a project work plan. Our project aims to understand the customer experience in 3D virtual worlds and its influence on expectations of 2D e-commerce environments. The proposed research methods are interviews, observations and diary studies. The methodological framework is based within the tradition of phenomenology. Phenomenology is concerned with how things are consciously perceived and seeks to understand the subjective qualities of experience, including its essential structure. The three main research questions are: What are the perceived experiences of customers in 3D virtual worlds? What are the perceived experiences of customers in 2D e-commerce environments who have experience in 3D virtual worlds? What are the differences in experiences and consumption behaviours between 3D virtual worlds and 2D e-commerce environments?

[9] Tom Collins. Pattern matching in music and its use for automated composition. PhD Probation Report 2010/09, May 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
It is something of a truism to say that self-reference abounds in classical music. That is, given a single piece of music, it will most likely contain instances of verbatim repetition as well as more subtle variation. Why then, when programming a computer to generate music, is little attention paid to ensuring the program's output contains self-reference? If the program is intended to test a model of musical style then its inattention to self- reference may result in failure of the test. This report gives further exposition of the above issue and the research question thus motivated. Current computational methods for pattern matching in music are exemplified and criticised. An introduction to Markov models for music is also provided, which is intended to be suggestive of more intricate computational models of musical style. The research proposal emphasises the need to integrate pattern matchers and music generators, and makes feasible plans to pursue this objective.

[10] Jerry Overton, Jon G Hall, and Lucia Rapanotti. Middle-out design: A proposed best-practice for GEOSS design. Technical Report 2010/10, May 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
The proposed scale of the Global Earth Observation Systems of Systems (GEOSS) [1] suggests that its design will have all the challenges of designing Ultra-Large-Scale (ULS) systems: competing requirements, continuous evolution, heterogeneous parts, and normal failures [2]. Evidence suggests that many `traditional' design methods have difficulty handlling the challenges of ULS systems: in particular, top-down design is unlikely to converge on a viable solution and bottom-up design is unlikely to result in a useful system. To successfully work at the scale of the GEOSS, we need alternative design approaches that will allow us to converge onto a viable solution to our problem while at the same time address our ULS-specific design issues. In this position paper, we describe the method of middle-out design, which we propose as a practical design method for ultra large scale systems and a best practice for GEOSS design. In essence, middle-out design proceeds starting from a new model of systems design we call the problem view. The problem view is an addition to Kruchten's 4+1 model, and allows us to transform ULS problems inot simpler, more tractable problems that can be handled using traditional design and development methods.

[11] Ayman Mahfouz, Leonor Barroca, Robin Laney, and Bashar Nuseibeh. Requirements-driven design of service-oriented interactions. Technical Report 2010/11, May 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
Designing service-oriented interactions requires addressing concerns of many stakeholders across enterprise boundaries. Throughout the design process, software artifacts of various levels of abstraction are analyzed and produced. To aid architects with reconciling concerns of the stakeholders as well as managing consistency between software artifacts, we describe four viewpoints for designing serviceoriented interactions. The viewpoints enable a requirements-driven collaborative interaction design process.

[12] Darrel Ince. Latent Error Analysis and Child-Care Chronicling Systems. Technical Report 2010/12, May 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
Munro (Munro, 2005) and others have made the point that approaches to investigating child abuse deaths have concentrated on surfae issues where human error is regarded as the terminating point in an investigation. This article describes the use of an approach to accounts of serious abuse that is systemic. The approach is based on one that is used by Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, to trace back problems to latent errors. The context here is in the development of a set of properties for a computer system that is used for chronicling the interactioni between a child and their family, relevant professionals and agencies. Boeing would normally use an aircraft incident report, accident report or an informal description of a set of incidents as their starting point. The research detailed here uses the report of the Victoria Climbie inquiry. The properties developed from this exercise are then compared with the specificaiton of the Integrated Children's System (ICS), a British chronicling system that has had major problems assocaited with it. It is posited that a systemic approach would have eliminated many of the problems with the ICS requirements specification. Although this article describes one system that is extant in two countries it is general in nature in that the principles hold for any chronicling system, for example those used in other branches of social work areas, and is not specific to England and Wales, the countries whose social workers employ computer systems associated with ICS.

[13] Clara Mancini, Lukasz Jedrzejczyk, Keerthi Thomas, Blaine A Price, Arosha K Bandara, Yvonne Rogers, Adam N Joinson, and Bashar Nuseibeh. Predators and Prey: Ubiquitous Tracking, Privacy and the Social Contract . Technical Report 2010/13, June 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
Previous work examining privacy interfaces and user attitudes towards location tracking have relied on irregular manual updates from users, imprecise location information or information obtained via specialized equipment. We present a field study where 12 participants used their own mobile phones with automatic accurate location tracking over a 3-week period. We recorded over 1000 user tracking events, over 300 extended experience sampling entries and more than 15 hours of debriefing interviews. Taking an evolutionary perspective on location tracking, we observe how predator-prey dynamics interact with the social contracts that define our relationships and present a three tire framework accounting for the complexity of users’ responses to location tracking technology. We also discuss how the limitations of the technology currently available contribute to misperceptions and misinterpretations impacting on an individual’s social interactions and how ubiquitous location tracking encroaches on the individual’s fundamental need to safely withdraw from social interaction. Author Keywords Ubiquitous tracking, privacy, social contract, virtual tracking, predator and prey

[14] Ayman Mahfouz. Requirements-Driven Design of Service-Oriented Interactions: An Evaluation. Technical Report 2010/14, June 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
This report presents and evaluation of our proposed requirements-driven adaptation process for inter-enterprise service-oriented interactions [1] [2]. We evaluate our adaptation process using two case studies. The first case study we tackle builds on the medical example introduced in [2]. Using a constructed case study allows us to demonstrate our contributions in isolation from noise associated with a real world case study. The medical case study is small enough to be comprehended with little effort and yet it allows for illustrative applications of the adaptation process. The second case study brings together a well-studied example from the literature and real world requirements for vehicle accident insurance and repair scenario. This case study has dual benefit. On the one hand, applying our approach to a widely studied example allows us to compare the approach to other approaches that have been applied to the example and benefit from prior analysis. On the other hand, the real-world scenario allows us to evaluate how our approach performs in a real-world setting.

[15] Svetlana Stoyanchev and Paul Piwek. Annotation Scheme for Authored Dialogues. Version 1.1. Technical Report 2010/15, July 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
The annotation we describe here has been developed in the context of the CODA project1. The goal of this project is to develop tools and technologies for automatically generating dialogue from monologue. The idea is to create a corpus of aligned monologue and dialogue and automatically derive rules from this corpus for converting monologue into dialogue. Thus a first step towards the overall goal is to create a parallel corpus of monologues and dialogues that express the same information.

[16] Jon G. Hall and Lucia Rapanotti. Give us a clue! Technical Report 2010/16, October 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
For some time now, we have been investigating new thought tools for problem solving, through our problem solving calculus. The problem class that we have most experience with are engineering problems, a class that includes mission-critical systems, business process reengineering, the design of educational experiences, of seating plans in open plan offices, etc.

[17] Darrel Ince. Social Work, Chronicling and the Internet Age. Technical Report 2010/17, October 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
Many of the IT systems that are used by social workers are typical of those that were developed before the Internet became a part of every-day life. This article examines a number of developments-in terms of users, technical facilities and environment-that have been enabled by the Internet and describes a system for social work chronicling that reflects them. The context is that of the computer systems used to support the British Integrated Children's System (ICS); this was a set of business processes that were supported by computer programs that reflected an industrial, pre-Internet approach. The article looks briefly at ICS, examines a series of Internet-affected developments and finally describes a chronicling system suitable for any branch of social work that reflects these developments. Although ICS is used as an exemplar in how not to develop a modern system, the major points made in this article are relevant to all forms of social work and are also not just relevant to a British context..

[18] Darrel Ince. Heuristics and Software Design|A Case Study. Technical Report 2010/18, November 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
This article describes a case study in which a software system costing hun- dreds of thousands of pounds was redesigned and re-implemented using a series of heuristics due to the Hungarian mathematician George Polya. The heuristics are first outlined by applying some of the more important ones to a small programming problem. Then the application of the heuristics applied to the re-design of the system is detailed. Because of the attention to abstraction the resulting system is able to be used in a variety of applications not just the one that it was envisaged for. Keywords: Abstraction, System Design, System Requirements, System Failure, Human-centered Computing, Simplicity.

[19] Saad Bin Saleem, Yijun Yu, Bashar Nuseibeh, and Anne De Roeck. An Evaluation of the ReleasePlanner on the Treatment of Security and Evolving Requirements. Technical Report 2010/19, December 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
The ReleasePlanner is a state-of-the-art release planning tool which generates the `optimal' plan for developing a given list of system requirements. It does so by `maximising' the utilisation of resources such as developers' time and skills within the given constraints such as projects' cost and duration. For a system that is both security-sensitive and evolving, however, it is unclear whether such treatments of general requirements in the ReleasePlanner can still optimise the activities without considering that security requirements are often constraints on functional requirements, and that all these requirements are subject to change. To clarify this, we exemplified a project in this report using the meeting scheduling system for offices in the Janie Lee Building. Specifically, we listed both security and functional requirements as the inputs for the ReleasePlanner to generate the plans that were `optimal', yet found impractical in the reality. As a result, we identified several pitfalls that might help adopters of the ReleasePlanner to avoid when security and evolving requirements are important to their projects.

[20] Florian Geier. An investigation into recommendation algorithms with application to dynamic environments. M801 MSC Dissertation 2010/21, September 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
Today, recommender systems are widely used in various domains. There are a lot of methods to generate recommendations and numerous parameters to adjust these methods. Each one of them has its individual strengths and weaknesses in certain situations. Based on the real-world use case of an existing location-based service application, the research at hand proves that by employing a custom-made hybrid recommender system, it is possible to exploit these strengths and, at the same time, to limit the weaknesses. The project analyses some of the most popular recommendation algorithms with respect to their predictive accuracy on datasets with different characteristics. For this purpose, a suitable evaluation method was designed and implemented in the form of an experimental setup and protocol. Six runtime factors characterizing each dataset are identified and investigated. The results show that these runtime factors have a direct influence on the quality of the recommendations and that they affect different recommendation algorithms in different, sometimes oppositional ways. These results are used to explore whether the predictive accuracy of a superordinate hybrid recommender system in a dynamic environment can be improved, when compared with each single subordinate recommendation algorithm. This is achieved by dynamically selecting or weighting the results of the respective sub-algorithms in consideration of the current situation of use. For this purpose, two different hybrid recommendation algorithms were developed and analysed in direct comparison with the conventional algorithms. It is demonstrated that one of them achieves the most accurate results over the whole range of runtime factor values under investigation, thus effectively eluding the limitations of the specific sub-algorithms it utilizes. The second hybrid algorithm achieves relatively good results, but falls short of the author’s expectations to outperform all other methods including the first hybrid.

[21] Kevin Matz. Designing and evaluating an intention-based comment enforcement scheme for Java. M801 MSC Dissertation 2010/22, September 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
Software maintenance forms a significant portion of the cost of large-scale software projects. A time-consuming part of maintenance is program comprehension – reading legacy code to understand how and where to make changes. The process of understanding existing code involves reconstructing the design intentions and rationale of the original developers. This dissertation argues that explicitly recording intention and rationale information during design and construction eases program comprehension during maintenance. This dissertation conducts a survey of practicing software developers to understand difficulties in software maintenance and opinions on software documentation. The results and a literature survey are then used to argue that significant problems exist which can best be dealt with by designing a new technology-based solution. By reviewing the program comprehension literature and examining past solutions, requirements are formulated for an “ideal” solution for recording intention and rationale documentation. A partial solution, Design Intention Driven Programming, is proposed, which encourages developers to record design intentions before writing code. The process is supported by a language, Java with Intentions, which adds intention comments, first-class documentation constructs, to the Java language. The compiler flags as errors any artefacts (e.g., classes) not described by intention comments and uses complexity metrics to detect “empty” comments. A rudimentary prototype of a precompiler for the language and a sample application are constructed as proofs of concept. The solution is evaluated using several analyses and by surveying developers for feedback on its practicality. Respondents’ opinions are divided on the solution’s feasibility and utility. Numerous problematic issues are identified, including resistance of developers to write documentation, limitations of the documentation enforcement mechanism, and the lack of concrete evidence of long-term cost savings. The evaluation suggests that, while the approach may be promising for some projects and teams, its unpopularity with most developers renders it impractical for typical commercial projects.

[22] C Hughes. Sound Spheres A non-contact virtual musical instrument played using finger tracking. M801 MSC Dissertation 2010/23, September 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
The creation and performance of music is predominantly and traditionally reliant on the direct physical interaction between the performer and a musical instrument. The advent of electronics and computing has given rise to many new electronic musical instruments and interfaces. Recent advances in these areas have seen an emerging trend into the design of virtual musical interfaces in which audio is synthesized and played back based on a musician‟s body movements captured by some gestural interface. Designing new electronic or virtual musical instruments necessitates consideration of many factors that affect its control and playability. The research described in this dissertation concerns the design and construction of a new non-contact virtual musical instrument (called Sound Spheres) that uses a finger tracking method as its gestural interface. The dissertation identifies control parameters and key factors that are considered important for the design of such instruments and provides research into whether these can be successfully achieved in a non-contact virtual musical instrument played by finger tracking. Results show that implementation of the control parameters of pressure, speed, and position can successfully be achieved for a non-contact virtual musical instrument. Achieving successful implementation of the angle control parameter however was inconclusive. Furthermore the results present evidence that the finger tracking technique is an effective method for playing such an instrument.

[23] M Beatty. A Step Towards Reader Acceptance of Hypertext Fiction: From Annoying Distraction to Enjoyable Experience. M801 MSC Dissertation 2010/24, October 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
The first hypertext novel (Douglas, 2000), afternoon, a story (see bibliography, Joyce 1990) was published in 1990. Despite its existence for over 20 years, hypertext fiction is little known amongst “ordinary” readers of fiction and has failed to achieve the popularity and mainstream audience envisaged by early theorists. The domain itself is highly theorised but there is little, if any, empirical evidence available to back up the sometimes grand claims of theorists. In fact, research conducted to date highlights the frustration and disorientation readers experience and attempts to present conventions and guidelines that authors and designers should follow in order to improve the experience (Pope 2006, Gee 2001). This research aimed to investigate hypertext fiction from the reader’s perspective in an effort to identify features that hinder or foster enjoyment. Readers were presented with a variety of hypertext fictions and asked to join an online discussion group to present their views and opinions. The qualitative data gathered was analysed to identify important themes raised by the participants. Subsequently, more data was gathered from a questionnaire, designed in relation to the qualitative data, in an attempt to corroborate the initial analysis. It is interesting that while the qualitative data was largely negative, the questionnaire results were less so. It was found that readers are not averse to hypertext fiction and the majority of participants would choose to read it again in the future, although they would opt for a text-only work. Although the multimedia and gaming elements contained in the hypertext fictions in this research were not considered particularly enjoyable participants saw the potential. Participants would be willing to interact with hypertext fiction through such features if they were intuitive to use, added something to the story and were seamlessly integrated. Participants want to control hypertext fiction, particularly with regard to pace of reading, length of time spent reading and interactive elements (such as multimedia and gaming). Indeed, it was found that participants want much more control over the experience than the works in this study allowed them. Due to the subjective nature of reading, the small number of participants and the limited number of hypertext fictions presented in this study, it is not considered possible to generalise the results. However it seems clear that authors would be able to attain a wider audience for their work as long as they consider the reader with regard to interface, design, interactions, writing style and plot. Future research could be conducted using younger participants, a different selection of participants and a wider range of hypertext fictions.

[24] M Clarke. IT Governance Design: An Application of Problem Oriented Engineering to Enterprise Architecture, TOGAF and SOA Development. M801 MSC Dissertation 2010/25, October 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
This dissertation investigates the discipline of Enterprise Architecture in two ways. Firstly, as a fundamental part of IT Governance and, secondly, regarding its use for effective management and co-ordination of an organisation and the deployment of its IT solutions and applications. Enterprise Architecture should help enable an organisation to achieve its strategic goals. TOGAF is a leading framework, which provides a selection of tools and best-practice methodologies for Enterprise Architecture practitioners. It is a relatively new development, especially version 9 (the latest release) and there are few examples in the literature of studies into its successful and effective application in pragmatic organisational practice. TOGAF has its roots in a technical approach, although, in line with IT Governance precepts, in its latest releases it urges close and wide stakeholder involvement in Enterprise Architecture initiatives. Service Orientated Architecture (SOA) embodies and extends many of the principles of best practice in software engineering to provide an approach which can better address future business requirements in a flexible and more cost-effective way. To successfully implement SOA, a holistic view of an organisation‟s IT architecture is essential and this is informed by the close involvement of the wider stakeholder community that is a fundamental principle of Enterprise Architecture and TOGAF. This dissertation investigates stakeholder engagement in Enterprise Architecture initiatives through a case study. It examines in particular the success of applying TOGAF as an IT Governance framework in terms of involving stakeholders in the early design stages of an SOA development. The case study is based on the author‟s own experience applying TOGAF in a UK FTSE-100 company. A survey of UK IT end-user organisations was also carried out to determine whether the results of the case study investigation could be generalised across the UK Enterprise Architecture practitioner community. Problem Oriented Engineering (POE), an emerging theoretical framework for design, was successfully used as a research methodology. It was found to be suitable for the analysis due to its emphasis on stakeholder involvement in problem and solution exploration and validation and exploration of the consequent risks.

[25] P Taylor. A study into the usability of the Formal Systems Model to investigate the Critical Success Factors that have been accepted for the management of an IT project. M801 MSC Dissertation 2010/26, October 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]
Critical Success Factors (CSF) are viewed as the key areas within a project where things must go right and that must receive constant and careful attention from management for a project to be a success. The approach is not without its problems. Firstly the inter-relationships between CSFs are at least as important as the individual factors, but the CSF approach does not provide a mechanism for taking account of these relationships. Secondly the factor approach tends to view implementations as a static process instead of a dynamic phenomenon. It ignores the potential for a factor to have varying levels of importance at different stages of the implementation process. Studies to date have focused on ways of overcoming these difficulties found with the CSF approach. This study investigates the use of two adaptations of the Formal Systems Model (FSM), a model which is claimed to be able to overcome the difficulties found within the factors approach, as well as being able to distinguish between successful and unsuccessful projects. This research was conducted by adopting the Systems Failures Approach (SFA) as a guide to study the data gathered from two UK based implementations of computerised systems. The data was fed into the FSM adaptations to consider the usability of the project-specific FSM in comparison to the FSM when used as a framework for investigating factors critical to success in implemented IT (Information Technology) and IS (Information Systems) projects. The results of this research show that the project-specific FSM is capable of distinguishing between projects perceived as successful and unsuccessful. It can highlight factors practitioners may perceive as critical to success, and also be used as a framework for investigating CSFs like the FSM. Whilst the results reveal positive characteristics about the project-specific FSM, such as being more focussed in its approach through having the failings associated with projects mapped directly onto its components. Its biggest challenge must be to overcome the reluctance of Project Managers and Practitioners to use methods and techniques in the management of their projects. Without this increase in use, White and Fortunes claim that the project-specific FSM is more accessible to Practitioners and Project Managers than the FSM cannot fully be substantiated.

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