Disruptive technological innovations often originate from surprisingly small beginnings. Giants of the Internet age such as the omnipresent Google search engine and the Facebook social networking platform have initially been designed and developed by small and independent teams. These examples are attractive to design science researchers in information systems, who desire to deliver new and innovative artifacts. We propose one possible specialization of design science research with the following central characteristics: (1) the research is focused on translating existing theory into industry standard artifacts, (2) the research is driven by small and independent teams, and (3) the researchers closely engage and directly interact with information technology in the design process. Based on the particular challenges encountered in a research project with aforementioned characteristics, we elicit a number of tentative suggestions for similar research endeavors: (1) The research should assure coherence between theoretical claims and artifact features. (2) The design process should be traceable and transparent to allow retrospective conclusions on the interactions and linkages between existing theory and artifacts. (3) The researchers should acknowledge, discuss and reflect on the influences of contextual factors on the science, craft and art of design.
Rohde, Max and Sundaram, David, "INNOVATING ON A DIME: DESIGN SCIENCE FOR SMALL TEAMS" (2011). ECIS 2011 Proceedings. Paper 224.