2.1 Introduction to the Studies

Before embarking upon presentation of the studies, a brief background and an outline of the structure of the presentation are provided.

2.1.1 Background

During the last half of 1994 and first half of 1995, three projects involving enterprise modeling were run in the Statoil petroleum company. Although differences in size, context and overall objectives, they had at least one characteristic feature in common: Belief in enterprise modeling as a means to gain understanding of aspects of the Statoil corporation or parts thereof. Figure 2.1 provides an illustration of time span for the three projects (VPT, Gazz and PA30), in addition to the main empirical study undertaken as a part of this research project (TEK-S, to be discussed in chapter 6).
Figure 2.1: Time span of relevant parts of projects used for empirical studies

The four projects and their main objectives are:

The VPT and TEK-S projects used the phrase enterprise modeling explicitly. In PA30, they denoted the equivalent activity process mapping, and in Gazz, they referred to their activity simply as modeling the gas production chain or creation of mental images, depending on the perspective of the actor. Still, all the projects are doing enterprise modeling according to the description in section 1.3.3.

2.2.2 Presentation of the studies

The projects VPT, PA30 and Gazz are described according to the following scheme: Observations are not analyzed to any significant degree in the current chapter. Analysis is done as theory or additional empirical evidence is incorporated at a later stage. Hence, the presentation is mostly descriptive, intending to give an account of enterprise modeling practice in three different projects. Theories of enterprise modeling and related activities are left for chapter 3.

The roles played by the three initial empirical studies in this research project include being means to explore the problem domain, improve the researcher's sensitivity (Strauss and Corbin, 1990:42), training in field work (Yin, 1989:65ff) and finally as a supplementary source of observations on enterprise modeling practice. Still, the three projects are of subordinate importance as compared to the TEK-S project, mainly due to lack of focus and depth in data collection. Hence, the three projects are more like pilot studies than full studies (Yin, 1989:80ff).