We argue that a failure to consider real-world artifacts which are involved in day-to-day ‘Information Systems Development’ activities as a key reason which renders approaches like method engineering inadequate to practice. We aim to reduce the abstraction and granularity of “method fragments” by re-envisioning them as ‘knowledge units’. By doing so, we hope to strike the right balance between the ‘fluid’ and the ‘institutional’ domains of knowledge that can be translated into practice with relative ease. We consider real-world ‘project templates’ used in information systems development as exemplars of ‘best practices’ accumulated from the past and develop a platform called ReKon, which consists of ‘fine-grain project template chunks’. We map these ‘knowledge units’ against broad project phases and tasks that potential users can combine as needed. These knowledge units are extracted from more than 1,200 real-world project templates made available for this research project by four leading IT consulting organizations. The paper briefly describes the theoretical foundations of the platform (Method Engineering and SECI Framework), followed by the process used for chunking and codification of the templates, and discusses results of formative evaluation of the ReKon platform. We discuss future directions for ReKon platform that require extending Nonaka and Takeuchi’s "combination quadrant" within the SECI model.
Karunakaran, Arvind; Purao, Sandeep; and Cameron, Brian, "From "Method Fragments" to "Knowledge Units": Towards a Fine-Granular Approach" (2009). ICIS 2009 Proceedings. 108.