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Abstract

Structured methods for the development of computer-based systems have been promoted for more than 20 years. This paper takes its starting point in the question why structured methods are still not in wide spread use. We focus on the role the introduction process of a method and its context in an organisation plays for this problem and present an empirical case study of an attempt to take a structured method into use in the IT Unit of a U.K. public sector organisation. A framework consisting of interdependent key factors is used to structure the presentation of the case. Based on the analysis of the interplay of these factors, recommendations for the improvement of method introduction are given. Some of these recommendations have a more general character, and some are directed in particular towards the organisation under consideration. They do not offer a guaranteed prescription for success, but we feel that they have some value in that they may help to promote the further diffusion of structured development methods.

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