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Introducing the goal-based information framework (GbIF): Documentation and evaluation of information flow in the low maturity organisation

Boyd, A. J. (2005). Introducing the goal-based information framework (GbIF): Documentation and evaluation of information flow in the low maturity organisation. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Purpose of the Research: To introduce and evaluate a new method, the Goal-based Information Framework (GbIF), to model and contextualise information flow in a multi-channel, multi-source, environment. This research presents a derivative of the goal-question-metric (GQM) methodology for use in information retrieval and exchange scenarios, paying particular attention to information needs of low maturity organisations.

Methodology/Approach: Following a review of the GQM literature, this iterative case-based research first presents a reference model based on experiences at an e- commerce business. The reference model is used as a baseline in two further case studies. The primary case study looks at multi-channel, multi-source, information retrieval challenges within the support department of a European software company. The second case study presents the GbIF in an information exchange context within a software integration project. A comparative study of the reference model and case- based iterations is presented in the conclusion.

Findings: The research indicates that the GbIF has value in documenting and evaluating organisational information flow. For information retrieval, the goal-based information framework is a descriptive and evaluative construct, rather than a prescriptive process model. That is, the framework is useful for describing and evaluating an organisation’s static information needs, not in guiding it through an information-retrieval process. For information retrieval needs, the value to the organisation is the resulting documented information flow from goal to information source. However, the complexity and expansiveness of the GbIF may make maintenance (adding and documenting new/additional needs) challenging for the low maturity organisation. This factor could make the GbIF more relevant for one-off or static information needs. The research also presents the theoretical application of the GbIF in information exchange scenarios.

Research limitations: The case-based findings could be specific to the observed organisations and could only be valid under similar conditions. Future field and scenario based testing of the framework is required to further understand its strengths and limitations. A complete specification of the framework will need to be authored prior to wide adoption.

Practical implications: Much of the previous work on goal-based methodologies has been confined to software measurement or business strategy contexts in larger organisations with well-established information processes. This research expands on a well-documented heritage to present an entirely new method of modelling and documenting information flow in a much wider context. The research also specifically identifies and investigates the challenges of using goal-based methodologies in a low maturity environment.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
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