Document Type


Publication Date

January 2011


Despite having been explored, described, theorized, and measured in hundreds of IS research articles, frequent difficulties related to user participation and business/IT communication persist in relation to project management, specification of requirements, implementation in organizations, business/IT alignment, and IS failures. We report on an extension of a long term design sci-ence research project that previously demonstrated a possible path toward ad-dressing these longstanding problems by empowering business professionals to analyze systems in business terms rather than in formalisms for IT specialists. Previous research demonstrated that most of 75 working business professionals with extensive business experience were able to use the then current iteration of a work system analysis template to analyze IT-reliant work systems in their own organizations, and to recommend improvements. The current research extends the previous efforts by evaluating natural field studies by managers taking coursework for advanced degrees in MBA and MSIS. We analyze 84 examples collected over 7 consecutive academic terms to evaluate the success of several successive versions of the design artifact, concluding that business and IS pro-fessionals are able to use the design artifact effectively and that a revised template generated better results.