File(s) under permanent embargo
Functional system maps as boundary objects in complex system development
journal contributionposted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Ronald Beckett
A trend towards the provision of product-service packaging and the proliferation of service businesses introduces both tangible and intangible elements into system design. In this paper, we consider the utility of hierarchical system models as a way of flexibly combining such elements by focusing on requisite functionality. Four cases illustrate how the same approach may be used to clarify the requirements of business or socio-technical systems during system development, operation or reengineering stages. It is suggested that a suitable loosely coupled model has significant utility as a 'boundary object' - a term first coined in the study of museum artefacts. Discussion of such objects requires the use of imagination, which may support innovative system design and development. It is suggested that a well-crafted model has multiple uses - as a foundation for system development, in combining traditional and agile project management strategies and in providing a framework to facilitate the capture and organisation of project knowledge.