An approach for the development and implementation of systems in complex business contexts through methodology tailoring

  • Sarah Mae Johnson

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Systems utilised in complex business contexts commonly need to be well integrated within the business in which they operate. There is a risk of poor acceptance, adoption, and sustainment in the business if the system does not take into account key business related considerations. Utilising DePuy Orthopaedics resource management business context as a case study, an assessment of potential System Development Methodologies (SDM) that could be utilised in the development of an IT system was carried out. It was established that no single SDM could provide the level of support that was identified as required. Further investigation of system development within complex businesses ascertained that methodology tailoring is an approach utilised to ensure that methodologies incorporate business specific complexities with a subsequent aim to ensure that developed systems are fit for purpose. However, there is little proven procedural guidance that illustrates an approach towards SDM tailoring in the complex business environment of resource management for New Product Development at DePuy. There was, therefore a gap in research and an identified need for an approach that provides the appropriate level of support for SDM tailoring for the development of systems in this complex business context.Utilising the knowledge gathered within DePuy Orthopaedics, as well as from literature in the field, methods for managing business related complexities in system development were established, developed, and formalised into an approach that addressed the tailoring of SDMs. The approach was influenced by the critical evaluation of DePuy's complex business context which aided in the creating and application of the approach.The approach was validated through its application in a business context, where it was used to develop a tailored methodology for use in developing and implementing a resource management IT system at a portfolio level. The validation proved the approach was legitimate and produced a methodology and subsequent system which were readily adopted and accepted by the company. Furthermore, the tailored methodology was evaluated by industrially based engineers with experience of systems development in a complex business context, resource management and systems engineering. From this evaluation, it was established that the tailored methodology was sound and can be said to be valid in the context that it was developed.
Date of Award25 Apr 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorIan Whitfield (Supervisor) & Alex Duffy (Supervisor)

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