A Framework for the Coordination of Complex Systems’ Development
Sammanfattning: This study is about the coordination of complex systems’ development. A Framework has been designed and deployed by the author in the development practice of Ericsson, a major supplier of telecommunication systems on the global market. The main purpose of the study is to investigate the impacts on coordination from the Framework. The development projects are very large and subject to turbulent market conditions. Moreover, they have many participants (often several thousand), have tight time constraints and are distributed to many design centres all over the world. In these projects, coordination of the development is of crucial importance. The Framework is grounded in a tentative theory called the Activity Domain Theory, which in turn is based on the praxis philosophy. In this theory the interaction between the individual and her environment is mediated by signs. Coordination is conceived as a particular activity domain which provides coordination to the development projects. The coordination domain is gradually constructed by the actors in this domain by iteratively refining a conceptual model, a process model, a transition model, a stabilizing core and information system support. In this process individual knowledge, shared meaning and organizational artefacts evolve in a dialectical manner. The Framework has been introduced in the Ericsson development practice over a period of more than ten years. Between 1999 and 2002 approximately 140 main projects and sub-projects at Ericsson have been impacted by the Framework. These projects were distributed to more than 20 different development units around the world and were carried out in a fiercely turbulent environment. The findings indicate that the Framework has had a profound impact on the coordination of the development of the most complex nodes in the 3rd generation of mobile systems. The knowledge contributions include an account for the history of the Framework at Ericsson and an identification of elements which contribute to successful outcomes of development projects.
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