The right tools for the right task: meaningful education for IS professionals

Peter Bednar, Christine Welch

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The predicament in which we find ourselves today is that many professionals lack a sufficient grounding in formal methods, tools and techniques to enable them to make an appropriate selection for different kinds of problem. This can mean that complexity remains unrecognized and ambiguous problem situations are addressed as if they were clear and straightforward, resulting in inadequate solutions that are not experienced as useful by clients. We are thus faced with a circular dilemma. Those who attempt to use, e.g. SSM are unable to do so effectively through lack of understanding. They are thus driven back to the need for formal methods, and the disadvantages inherent in these approaches which SSM was originally created to address. Thus, there is a need to reintroduce into the agenda of soft and Agile methods an understanding of the skills and tool sets offered by hard/formal approaches. New professionals require a comprehensive education in use of tools and techniques, including their complementarity. This will not be delivered by training individuals in application of particular methodol-ogies in a piecemeal and fragmented way, but by thorough and rigorous examina-tion of whole methodologies in use. Only then can they engage in practice in the real world and develop their own tool sets, from which to select in an informed way those most appropriate to a problem situation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation systems development: business systems and services modeling and development
EditorsJaroslav Porkorny, Vaclav Repa, Karel Richta, Wita Wojtkowski, Henry Linger, Chris Barry, Michael Lang
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Print)9781441996459
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • information systems education
  • systems development methodology
  • professional practice
  • systems analysis
  • systems thinking


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