Chapter 2 presents established theory on roles and responsibilities. The established theory identifies main roles in application investments and different views on responsibilities from the authors’ point of view.
Due to our purpose of investigating the IT-consultants view of roles and responsibilities when supporting the SMEs’ IT-investments and relate their views to established theories, we will use the study “Who is responsible? -Roles and responsibilities for IT-investments” by Granehäll et al. (2005) as a foundation for this research. We will supplement the au-thors’ elaborated views with other theory concerning the SME and supplementary theory of roles and responsibilities in chapter 4. The supplementary theory will be added to the es-tablished theory in order for us to be able establish complete theoretical views on roles and responsibilities in application investments in chapter 5.
We argue that the choice of using Granehäll et al. (2005), as a base is acceptable due to the fact that the authors have used frequently mentioned authors within this area of research and present unpublished documents in appendixes. This action we believe makes the re-search of Granehäll et al. (2005) to be trustworthy and of high quality.
Who is responsible?
In “Who is responsible? -Roles and responsibilities for IT-investments” by Granehäll et al. (2005) four different views were established. Three of them regard application in-vestments. Common for all these views, presented below, is that they have three main roles with different responsibilities recommended by different authors in today’s litera-ture. Depending on what responsibility they control different views exist. Each author can be presented more than once in the different views depending on their view on main responsibility in the investment process.
These views are all structured by Andersen’s (1994) general model to describe system development called the Life cycle model, figure 2.1. The model views seven phases; change analysis, analysis, design, realisation, implementation, maintenance and settle-ment. The different phases in the model have set the foundation of Granehäll et al’s (2005) elaborated views.
During the study of the literature Granehäll et al. (2005) found that the several different roles, presented by the authors in the literature, had the same responsibilities just different titles. Some roles were more frequently presented than others. Therefore three main roles were identified. These were the top management, the IT-department and operative manag-ers, figure 2.2.
Granehäll et al. (2005) identified the main roles as the IT-department, the top management and the operative managers. The top management was identified given that it was very fre-quently mentioned and was therefore found to be essential in IT-investments. The opera-tive managers embrace both the operative managers’ and the users. Another main role was the IT-department representing the IT-function, IT-manager and the IT-executives, all naturally part of the IT-department.
Other roles mentioned were not enough frequently discussed and therefore were not de-fined as main roles. However, they still are to be found within the main roles. These roles are the IT-management, the entrepreneur and the steering committee. The IT-management has responsibilities from both the top management role and the IT-department role and in the steering committee all of the identified main roles cooperate in IT-investments. The en-trepreneur is an initiator located in any of the other roles. Therefore were the IT-management, the steering committee and the entrepreneur not identified as main roles.
View 1: Cooperation between main roles
This view, presented in Granehäll et al. (2005), is characterized by collaboration between the top management, the IT-department and the operative managers in a steering commit-tee. In this view the authors presented by Granehäll et al. (2005) are Axelsson, Earl, Grif-fith, Hugoson, Lucas, Raghunathan, Reponen, Robson, Rockart and Stjernberg.
Often an entrepreneur identifies the need for a change. The entrepreneur could be repre-sented by anyone of the three roles. Here is it very important that the three roles co-operates after the initiative to the application investment is taken.
After this initiative, the steering committee has a central part of the view. It is the steering committee that is responsible for all decision-making, to set policies and guidelines for the investment and to connect the IS-strategy with the overall strategic plan of the organisa-tion. All authors represented in this view support this idea, although one of them takes it one step further and specifies the importance of the top management responsibility to have the overall responsibility for the investment even if a collaboration between the top management, the IT-department and the operative management is essential.
The investment process continues with the design of the application. Here collaboration is pre-requisite in order for the participative roles ability to accept and understand the total value of the investment.
Due to the fact that this view is characterized by collaboration in a steering committee, all phases are not covered with a responsibility. During the rest of the investment process, the steering committee delegates the responsibility to other specific roles. Therefore some of the phases in this view are not covered by a role.
This is viewed in table 2.1, a summary of the view focused on cooperation between main roles presented in Granehäll et al. (2005).
View 2: Focus on the IT-provider
The second view, presented in Granehäll et al. (2005), is characterized by its focus on the IT-provider. The IT-provider is mentioned in Granehäll et al. (2005) as the IT-department. Here the IT-department has the main responsibility for the investment, even though some cooperation with the top management occurs. The authors presented by Granehäll et al. (2005) in this view are Earl, Earl and Feeny, Feeny et al, Henderson, Hugoson, Jarvenpaa and Ives, Lucas, Robson, Rockart and Stephens et al.
The IT-department takes the initiative for the investment. After that the decision-making and the work with the development of policy’s and guidelines, and the alignment of the IS-strategy with the overall strategy of the organisation begins. This is also something the IT-department is responsible for, although some influences and cooperation from the top management may occur. This way of managing the responsibilities continues through the entire investment process.
During the development of the investment the IT-department continues to have the over-all responsibility, but collaboration with the top management may occur. The IT-department is here responsible for the evaluation and decision of technical and practical solution.
After the development in the realisation, the IT-department reports the status of the in-vestment to the top management. The IT-department also has full responsibility for the implementation and the maintenance of the application.
This is viewed in table 2.2, a summary of the view focused on the IT-provider presented in Granehäll et al. (2005).
View 3: Focus on the operative managers
This view focuses on the operative managers. The operative managers have the overall re-sponsibility through the investment process even though some cooperation with the top management occurs. Granehäll et al. (2005) present in this view the authors Applegate et al, Axelsson, Henderson, Hugoson, Lucas, Robson and Rockart.
The operative managers initiate the need of change followed by decision-making, develop-ing guidelines and the alignment of the IT-plan with the overall strategic plan of the organi-sation.
During the next phase in the investment process the operative managers does not have the qualification necessary to be able to obtain responsibility for the development. Therefore someone else, for example the IT-department or an IT-consultant, has this responsibility but this is not specified in this view.
In the realisation of the investment the top management and the operative managers share the responsibility. The operative managers have however the overall responsibility in this phase.
In this view the implementation is managed in the same way as the development phase, which means that the operative managers have no responsibility. Instead it is often some-one else with other knowledge, for example the IT-department, who manages the imple-mentation of the application. This is however not specified in this view.
The operative managers also manage the maintenance of the application after the imple-mentation is successfully accomplished.
This is viewed in table 2.3, a summary of the view focused on the operative managers pre-sented in Granehäll et al. (2005).
1.2 Problem discussion
1.6 Concept formulation
2 Established views
2.1 Who is responsible?
2.2 Reflection of the established views
3.1 General approach
3.2 Theoretical data
3.3 Empirical data
3.4 Quality of the research
4 Theoretical data
4.1 Organisational theory concerning the SME
4.2 Additional theory
5 Analysis of theoretical data
5.1 Responsibility through the investment process’s all phases
5.2 Identification of main roles in the theory
5.3 Completed theoretical views
5.4 Reflection of complete theoretical views .
6 Empirical data
6.2 IT-consultant A.
6.3 IT-consultant B
6.4 IT-consultant C.
6.5 IT-consultant D.
6.6 IT-consultant E.
6.7 IT-consultant F.
6.8 IT-consultant G
6.9 IT-consultant H.
6.10 IT-consultant I .
6.11 IT-consultant J
6.12 IT-consultant K.
6.13 IT-consultant L
6.14 Reflection of the empirical part
7.1 Identification of main roles
7.2 Categorisation of IT-consultant
7.3 Reflection of the categorisation
7.4 Comparison between theoretical data and empirical data
7.6 Reflection of the comparison between theoretical data and empirical data
8.1 Main findings
8.2 Additional findings
9 Discussion and further research
9.2 Further research
GET THE COMPLETE PROJECT
The IT-consultant’s view of managing application in-vestments’ A study on roles and responsibilities