3.7 Simonsen, J. (1999): "Anchoring Visions in Organizations", in J. Zupancic, G. Wojtkowski, W. Wojtkowski, and S. Wrycza (Eds.): Evolution and Challenges in System Development, Kluwer Academic Publishers, New York, pp. 73-84. [paper from the ISD'98 conference, The Seventh International Conference on Information Systems Development - ISD’98, Bled, Slovenia, 21 - 23 September 1998. ]

This paper was earlier presented as a working paper at IRIS'21.


This paper introduces the term 'anchoring' within systems development: Visions, developed through early systems design within an organization, need to be deeply rooted in the organization. A vision's rationale needs to be understood by those who decide if the vision should be implemented as well as by those involved in the actual implementation. A model depicting a recent trend within systems development is presented: Organizations rely on purchasing generic software products and/or software development outsourced to external contractors. A contemporary method for participatory design, where anchoring is considered to be a main activity, is outlined. The task of anchoring visions is described, and techniques and activities are suggested with respect to those actors that have to act on the visions and the recommendations from a design proposal. The paper concludes that obtaining appropriate anchoring requires designers to take on a role compared to that of an architect.