Advances in Information Systems Development: From Discipline and Predictability to Agility and Improvisation

  • Jan Pries-Heje
  • Richard Baskerville
  • Bala Ramesh
  • Linda Levine
Part of the IFIP – The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 274)


When information systems development (ISD) was coined as a term and evolved into a research area we lived in a largely industrial economy. This traditional universe placed high value on discipline and predictability for its own sake. In the 1990s several new trends began to question and challenge the traditional view. Specifically, Internet marketplaces created a new environment for information systems development, and novel approaches such as agile methods emerged. In this paper, we present an analysis of empirical findings showing how new principles and practices have come to exist in a parallel economic universe. The traditional universe persists with its foundation in an industrial economic model; and an alternative universe has become apparent corresponding to a knowledge-based economic model. Our findings suggest that, in the future, knowledge-based activity will continue to gain ground with increased emphasis on agility and improvisation. Moreover, the purpose of discipline will be newly understood to serve an underlying role, which is supportive rather than dominant.


Industrial Economy Agile Method Information System Development Agile Development Capability Maturity Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Pries-Heje
    • 1
  • Richard Baskerville
  • Bala Ramesh
    • 2
  • Linda Levine
    • 3
  1. 1.Roskilde UniversityDK
  2. 2.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUS
  3. 3.Software Engineering InstituteCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUS

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