The study reported on in this article was presented at the ECIS96-conference (3.2) and the ECIS'97-conference (3.4), where it was the recipient of the "Officers' Award for Excellence".
The article reviews the concept of ‘strategic alignment’ and presents the critique by Ciborra in SJIS (Vol. 9, No. 1) entitled "De profundis? Deconstructing the concept of strategic alignment". We present a design approach that suggests how designers, conducting design projects in a specific organization, can take care of and ensure that the design of IT is appropriately aligned with the organization’s overall business strategy. We describe a design project using this approach. The project presented took place in a small public organization. Focusing on alignment as part of the design process had a powerful effect: It revealed that the system the organization believed it needed was irrelevant, while the organization needed other systems that had not been thought of before-hand. It also led to findings that challenged the organization's existing business strategy, and it gives an example of how environmental conditions, business strategies, and plans for IT are changing and hence challenge traditional approaches to strategic alignment. The results from the design project are described and related to IS literature and to Ciborra’s article.