Hence, the project group must not hold on to the artifacts they have constructed and claim them to represent the only truth. The perspectives of the enterprise audience must be taken into account. This is a consequence of seeing enterprise modeling as illustrated in – both the development and the dissemination phases involve both perspective making and perspective taking.
|When the process group in TEK-S presented their enterprise models to the chief engineers at WS3, there were lots of comments to the models' contents. One comment that illustrates the problem of deciding what is correct was the categorization of a phenomenon as a threat to Statoil. The actor in the enterprise audience claimed that the phenomenon was no threat. On the contrary, in his view, it was a great opportunity. Both assessments were valid, but the implications of having only one of the views on reality is profound: A perceived threat implies a defensive attitude, while an opportunity is something to take advantage of.|
When the dissemination forum is a meeting, involvement implies being invited and expected to attend the meeting, and being active in the discussions concerning the enterprise models and subsidiary artifacts. When the forum is a Web presentation with a bulletin board associated, involvement requires knowing how to access the presentation and how to take part in the discussions on the bulletin board. In both situations, involvement implies that the enterprise audience must have access to communication processes where some of the modelers take part and may explain more extensively the intention of each artifact (assertion 18).
The presentation ought to match the preunderstanding of the audience. With a meeting as the dissemination forum, the presentation can be adjusted as the presenting actor faces questions that indicate problems in understanding the message. Using the Web for presentation of artifacts does not offer the same opportunity. However, the problem of not being able to adjust the presentation can be countered by allowing presentations to be layered and linked (utilizing the medium, assertion 24) and the use of a bulletin board system or email with access to model developers (assertion 18).
|In the technology strategy project, the amount of information produced was so large compared to the attention the project participants had to spare that some of the documents were not read by all participants. The effect was not observed for models, as all the models were fairly simple (page 135).|
The opportunity to pose questions can be supported both when the dissemination forum is a meeting and when it is a Web document. In a meeting, the posing of questions is obvious. When reading a Web presentation, the use of email (as in the strategy project) or a bulletin board system may be sufficient.
When the dissemination forum is a meeting, the feedback must be recorded in some way. In the strategy project (WS3), the comments received when a WG leader presented were recorded by one of the other actors from the same WG. In this way, the presenting actor was free to concentrate on responding to the comment, while the recording actor had intimate knowledge of the issue in question (at least more than an arbitrary scribe would have had).
When comments are received by email or on a bulletin board, the posting actor may receive a confirmation on receipt. In case of a question, the question may be added to a FAQ list, like in the strategy project.
In summary, the main Tema requirement to the dissemination process is that the enterprise audience are effectively involved in the construction process of the artifacts, being able and allowed to contribute in the enterprise level perspective making process through effective perspective taking.
Given the assumption that enterprise models and related artifacts are created as a part of developing other artifacts (i.e., they are not the ends in themselves) and that the artifacts are represented using a digital medium, the various components may be integrated. An illustration is provided in . The use of a hypermedium for representation of boundary objects is also advocated by Boland and Tenkasi (1995:364).
In other words, a rather non-presumptionistic view on enterprise models is advocated. Their contents and structure have to be developed and tailored to each particular need. A few alternatives will be discussed along with the pool of techniques in chapter 9.
One requirement is that an enterprise model must have both elements and structure that a computer can recognize. The main rationale of this requirement is that elements may be connected to other elements or artifacts, e.g., other models, metaphors, narratives, explanations, characterizations of terms, a FAQ, etc.
The only hesitation to be made here concerns the use of narratives outside the communities from which they originated. Brown and Duguid (1991:54) state that
"In some form or another the stories that support learning-in-working and innovation should be allowed to circulate. The technological potential to support this distribution – e-mail, bulletin boards, and other devices that are capable of supporting narrative exchanges – is available. But narratives, as we have argued, are embedded in the social system in which they arise and are used. They cannot simply be uprooted and repackaged for circulation without becoming prey to exactly those problems that beset the old abstracted canonical accounts."The problems associated with abstracted canonical accounts revolve around the attribution of meaning that stems from being a practitioner (i.e., from having competence within the domain). When a narrative is disseminated in a community without competence in the domain described in the narrative, it is reasonable to assume that the meaning of the narrative is interpreted differently than in the originating community.
An immediate question is: Why develop and disseminate narratives when stripping their context decreases their value as accounts of non-canonical practice? One may argue that they still play an important role outside of the originating community-of-practice, as they are far more concrete than all of the enterprise models that have been observed in the empirical studies. The narratives also play a part in a communication process, enabling a more correct interpretation (as a part of a larger perspective making process). The objective of dissemination of enterprise models is not to become a practitioner, rather to learn about practice.
|The Statoil corporation have made a major move towards ensuring that all employees reach a certain level of competence in using computers. All employees have been offered a powerful multimedia computer with free Internet access at home (Statoil, 1997c). They are explicitly not expected to work on job related issues at home – their only obligation is to follow a series of lessons (involving exercises). In this way, Statoil can ensure that practically all of their employees have a set of basic skills, including competence in Internet communication services (email, Usenet News and World Wide Web).|
Using an Intranet, Tema proposes use of World Wide Web technology, integrated with a discussion group system and email for communication purposes. In addition, enterprise internal newspapers, etc. can be used to increase awareness (supporting the involvement activity in section ) and raise curiosity.
To make the enterprise audience provide relevant feedback to the project
group requires setting aside time and resources for face-to-face meetings
(allocate attention). Actors can not be assumed to provide feedback by
themselves (assertion 19). The strategy in Tema is to create arenas
enabling communication, and communicate expectations to the
enterprise audience, utilizing the arenas to provide feedback.
A potential problem in the dissemination phase is that expressions are disseminated without being embedded in any communication process. It may be unavoidable that the enterprise audience come across artifacts that are not a part of a communication process, but the problem can be reduced if a forum for communication is associated directly with the artifacts.
|If the "strategy development process" element of the Web version of the strategy document in TEK-S had been developed (page 120), it could have been integrated with a discussion group for queries concerning the progress of the project.|
Paper is stable, familiar to write and read, and easy to comment upon. However, it is static (no behavior), highly sequential to read, and cumbersome to distribute. Further, there are no explicit connections between elements in a document (in the sense that all relationships must be interpreted and associated by the human reader).
World Wide Web requires access to a computer, is cumbersome to annotate, and not easy to interact with for multiple actors simultaneously. The positive aspects related to Tema are instant distribution, multiplicity of structuring of information, and explicit connections between elements (i.e., Web is a hypermedium, Akscyn, McCracken and Yoder, 1988:820). An enterprise model may have links to discussion groups, to actors responsible for parts of the model, to stories that exemplify model elements and explanations. The model may easily be integrated with other information on an Intranet, as illustrated in .
World Wide Web was originally developed as a means for members of geographically dispersed professional communities to communicate over the Internet (W3C, 1997). It has the basic functionality required to assist in both enterprise model dissemination and to some degree development (the role in Tema is in dissemination).
When choosing a digital medium like World Wide Web, a main success criterion is to write for the medium (Elvekrok et al., 1995:48). To take a paper document and distribute it as is on the Web will hardly represent any improvement. On the contrary, the document will loose the attractive properties of a paper document and be inferior to the paper version. Consequently, the actors preparing exposed artifacts must be competent to exploit the strengths of the medium (assertion 24).