Situational Method Engineering

Anton Frank Harmsen

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    104 Citations (Scopus)
    624 Downloads (Pure)


    Information systems are being used for more and more applications, are becoming more complicated and expensive, while at the same time affecting large parts of our society. It is therefore important that information systems are developed in an effective and efficient way. To achieve this, numerous methods for information systems development have been described. Such a method typically consists of descriptions of the activities to be performed, the products to be delivered, and the tools to be used. Commercial methods, being released by large software houses and consultancy firms, are usually made up of several volumes, confiscating entire book shelves. Methods can be considered as a standardisation of the IS engineering process, in order to enable the efficient and effective performance of that process. A problem with these methods is, that they hardly take into account the situation in which an information system is developed. Each situation is, in principle, different. A situation affects the way of working and the product types to be delivered. On the one hand, a method should accomplish standardisation, on the other hand should it be flexible, to match the situation at hand. In this dissertation, this requirement is called controlled flexibility. Controlled flexibility is achieved by constructing methods. For each situation, for instance a project or an organisation, a different method is built. This method completely takes into account the circumstances (situation factors) applicable in that situation. We call such a method a situational method. This dissertation describes the basic concepts of Situational Method Engineering, the research discipline focused on construction of situational methods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    • Apers, P.M.G., Supervisor
    • Brinkkemper, J.N., Co-Supervisor
    Award date31 Jan 1997
    Place of PublicationUtrecht
    Print ISBNs90-75498-10-1
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 1997


    • Method engineering
    • Information systems development methods


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