Fundamental difficulties in understanding and communicating about IT-reliant systems contribute to longstanding problems with project management, user participation, specification of requirements, implementation in organizations, business/IT alignment, and IS failures. Those issues persist despite having been explored, described, theorized, and measured in hundreds of IS research articles. The paper reports on a design science research project demonstrating a possible path toward addressing these longstanding problems by empowering business professionals to analyze systems in business terms, and not in UML, BPMN, or other formalisms that were developed for IT specialists. In this research, 75 working business professionals with extensive business experience used the latest iteration of a work system analysis template to analyze IT-reliant work systems in their own work sites, and recommend improvements. Unlike earlier work system research at the original developer’s university, the current research occurred in conjunction with three MBA programs at a major east coast university in the United States. Analysis of 75 submissions confirmed that participants could use the work system analysis template effectively. As expected in design science research, the analysis of the submissions led to recommendations for improving the design artefact.
Truex, Duane; Alter, Steven; and Long, Cherie, "Systems Analysis for Everyone Else: Empowering Business Professionals through a Systems Analysis Method that fits their needs" (2010). ECIS 2010 Proceedings. 4.