6.7    Concluding Remarks

A natural closing of the chapter is to revisit the research questions from section 1.2.2. The answers to the questions were mainly given in the summary and analysis in section 6.6, or will be developed further in chapter 7, but an overview is provided here.

Main research question: The technology strategy project is the main source of observations of contemporary enterprise modeling practice when the purpose is human sense-making and communication. Chapter 6 has provided a comprehensive description of the project, in addition to a brief analysis when seeing enterprise modeling as a process of perspective making and perspective taking in communities of knowing.

RQ1: The intended and actual use of enterprise modeling was explicitly discussed in section 6.6.2. The most frequently stated objective (from customers, project participants in general, future users and external contributors) was shared understanding. However, the most dominant use of models was as devices for structuring of presentations, meetings and work.

RQ2: Activities found to play a role in enterprise modeling were discussed in section 6.6.3. The single most notable observation was that the difficult part of enterprise modeling in the strategy project was the sense-making part, i.e., to construct and investigate the domain, and to structure it reasonably into a coherent whole that seemed plausible and believable (made sense). There were few observed problems with representation, manifestation or distribution of enterprise models.

RQ3: Artifacts in enterprise modeling were discussed in 6.6.4. One main conclusion was that in addition to traditional enterprise models (primary artifacts), a number of subsidiary artifacts (terminology, explanations, metaphors and narratives) were developed as means to make sense of the domain later represented in the models.

RQ4: Some relationships between various elements were discussed briefly in section 6.6.1, but the issue is otherwise left for chapter 7. One relationship concerned the disagreements over models and reality: The most controversial model was the one that included work dominated by design risk.

To summarize the strategy project, a main challenge of developing and disseminating the technology strategy was to create a sufficiently complexified perspective enabling the actors to answer the questions posed in M2. In the perspective making process, the project groups utilized a number of intermediate artifacts, including models, terminology, explanations, metaphors and narratives. An illustration of the difficulties of perspective making in TEK-S was the observations concerning terminology, being in effect development of a vocabulary within the community. From this point of view, the dissemination phase of the project faced the challenges of ensuring effective perspective taking in the organization.