Accepted Paper:

Bringing data home: Agile transformations through the lens of a public IT project  


Bastian Jørgensen (IT University of Copenhagen)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation explores the development of a data sharing platform in the Danish Tax and Customs Administration. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, it will discuss how development efforts create new ideas about possible organizational formations of public sector institutions.

Paper long abstract:

In the Danish Tax and Customs Administration, "bringing data home" has become an increasingly prominent idea. Conducting ethnographic fieldwork in the tax administration, I have encountered this strategic wish repeatedly while following the development of an IT project. The project aims to develop a new digital platform through which the tax administration can share data with other public institutions. "Bringing data home" is in many ways an illustrational phrase because it can serve to foreground a series of changes that the project seeks to overcome and bring about in the administration. These changes are related to 1) investments in IT employees and new IT departments, 2) the development of a new database infrastructure, 3) the development of a data sharing platform, from which tax related data can be accessed, and 4) increased use of internal IT resources and agile development methods. Using the phrase "bringing data home," I explore some of these ideas and discuss the organisational changes currently taking place in a Danish public sector institution. All of this help to bring out the on-going work involved in making new IT projects work, showcasing how the formation of strategic ideas and frames serve to underpin and drive organizational changes. This gives significant new clues as to the ways in which so-called "agile" transformations take place in the context of public sector institutions.

Panel C20
Software & organisation