Don’t ignore the iceberg: Timely revelation of justification in DSR
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Design theory is often an outcome of Design Science Research (DSR) and kernel theories provide explanatory justification of design principles. But like an iceberg, many of the design principles lie hidden under the surface or inadequately specified. Ascertaining the completeness of the design principles requires additional design process steps to surface underlying assumptions and to abstract design principles which emerge during secondary design. We follow the development of a project management decision support artefact and describe the primary design, based on literature on agile systems development, and the subsequent secondary design that took place in a financial company. Analysis reveals an “iceberg phenomenon”; only a partial design justification was initially apparent, and underlying design assumptions are only revealed through deeper reflection and analysis. We conclude by providing guidelines for making design justification more explicit in both the design and the evaluation phases.
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