PURPOSE – The purpose of this paper is to report on a co-design process that was initiated between
government and the private sector in Botswana to redesign current ISD practice with particular focus
on finding a solution for learning failure. Learning failure was analysed retrospectively using concepts
of “task conscious” and “learning conscious” learning.
DESIGN / METHODOLOGY / APPRAOCH – On the basis of a typical Botswana ISD project in which the lead
researcher participated, inefficiencies and shortcomings in the standardised Botswana ISD process in
terms of full utilisation of learning processes to support systems success were examined. Through the
Developmental Work Research (DWR) methodology, which is based on Cultural-Historical Activity
Theory (CHAT) principles, IS practitioners from government and the private sector, together with
users collaborated to redesign the current Botswana ISD work practice in order to address this
FINDINGS – The result has been the incorporation of activity-based learning and reflection into a
proposed improved ISD practice framework for Botswana.
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS – Through collaborative redesign between government and industry, a new
Botswana ISD practice model that incorporates activity-based learning and reflection has been
designed, and findings from examination of the model suggest that it has potential to address current
learning deficiencies and thus contribute to efforts of avoiding IS failures. There have also been
contributions to DWR resulting from the way in which the methodology was applied.
ORIGINALITY / VALUE – This is the first known study that uses concepts of “task-conscious” and
“learning-conscious” learning to analyse learning retrospectively and at the same time adopting the
DWR methodology in the social context of a developing country such as Botswana.