3.4 Simonsen, J. (1997): "Linking Design to Business Strategy Through Functional Analysis", in R. Galliers, C. Murphy, H. R. Hansen, R. O'Callaghan, S. Carlsson, and C. Loebbecke (Eds.): Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Information Systems, Cork/Ireland, June 19-21 1997, Cork Publishing Limited, pp. 1314-1327.

The paper  was presented at the ECIS'97-conference where it was the recipient of the "Officers' Award for Excellence".


The paper discusses how designers, conducting design projects in specific organization's, can assure that the design of IT is appropriately linked to the organizations overall business strategy. A case study is presented in the form of a design project in a small public organization. Functional analysis was used as a means to clarify how a specific needed information system could support the organization's new business strategy. Using functional analysis in the design project had a powerful effect: it seriously challenged the organi-zation's business strategy and revealed that the system the organization believed it needed was irrelevant, while it needed other systems nobody had thought of before-hand. Functional analysis is outlined, the results from using this analysis are described, and lessons to be learned are discussed. The paper concludes by pointing out the need for explicit attention to the relation between an organiza-tion's IT-projects and its business strategy and by suggesting that it is the responsibility of the designers, conducting design projects, to assure that this task is taken proper care of. Practical guidelines for this purpose are given.