Reflections On Early Requirements Gathering by ckd11816

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									Reflections On Early
Requirements Gathering

Themes From Analyst-Client
Conversations

Cathy Urquhart
University of the Sunshine
Coast, Australia
Outline of presentation

Communication as the basis for early
 requirements gathering.
Case study design.
Themes from the case studies.
Conclusions
Communication as the basis for
early requirements gathering

The determination of requirements is
 founded on human communication which
 takes place in a social context.
Language is the basis for communication,
 and is the expression of interactive
 procedures working amongst various
 social, contextual and epistemological
 factors.                      Candlin 1984
The Case Studies
Six cases of early requirements gathering
 from public sector agencies in Tasmania,
 Australia.
Several data sources.
  initial paragraph.
  individual interviews.
  videotaped interaction and review
Analysis using grounded theory
 techniques, topics, and themes.
Themes
  Conceptual.
    Issues To Be Discussed, Scope Of
     System, Problem Identification,
     Processes Associated With System,
     Information Input To System,
     Information Output From System,
     Links In Information.
  Social.
    Professional Relationships, Mutual
     Understanding.
Themes
Environmental.
  Organisational Context, Future Action and
   Solutions.
Individual.
  Personal Disclosures, Analyst
   Understanding Of Processes, Notetaking,
   Use Of Props.
Problem Identification
Consists of „labelling‟ the problem at a
 general level, to be distinguished from
 „problem setting‟ where the problem
 characterised in terms that aid its
 solution.
  Schön 1983
In the majority of cases, analysts framed
 the problem in terms of information, the
 clients in terms of processes.
Problem Identification -
Client
  Client: Now, there‟s something I just thought
    of, a little bit of a problem..it‟s measuring
    backlog. Would it be possible, if somebody
    had ten applications in their in tray.. Some
    had been there for a day, some had been
    there for three days, some had been there for
    ten days. Can we have a system which adds
    all those numbers up? To give a
    measurement of who‟s furthest behind?
Analyst: We can
Problem Identification -
Analyst

 Analyst: ..what information do you want to get
   out of this system? Do you have to do reports
   and things like that?
 Client: Yes. So we need to have (flipping
   through notepad) ..I‟m just thinking about
   which reports you want to get started with.
 Analyst: Well, it depends on what you want to
   get out of the system..
Links In Information
Identified by analysts at organisation wide
 and key level.
Can be seen as a particular systems
 analysis strategy which aids problem
 solution.
Can also be likened to Schön‟s (1983)
 notion of an „on-the-spot-experiment‟.
Consistent with analysts‟ information
 focus.
Links in Information

Analyst: “OK, so when you put in the summary
   information you put in, you put in the number,
   ..does each number..apply to each application?”
Client: “yes it does”
Analyst: “so you sort of have another code
   number or something for each applicant that
   gets put into the database?”
Client: “It‟s not, its not a reference to the
   stu(dent), the moment it can‟t be referenced to
   any individual student..”
Notetaking
 A subject which receives scant
  treatment and contradictory advice
  from systems analysis textbooks.
  Hoffer, George and Valacich (1999) Whitten, Bentley
  and Barlow (1994) Jordan and Machesky (1990)
  Powers, Cheney and Crow (1990) Martin (1994),
  Kendall and Kendall (1995).
 Remarks made by analysts show the
  value of „reflection-in-action‟ (Schön 1983)
Notetaking

„I just need to say something, and I‟ve been
  laughing to myself about this, its actually quite
  interesting the interaction between us, here I
  am madly scribing. I‟m not actually looking at
  my client through most of the interview and I‟ve
  never really thought about it before, but..all
  they are doing is just looking at my head and
  every now and then then I pop up..‟
Conclusions
Themes as presented here are derived
 from situations of uniqueness, from which
 practitioners may construct theories and
 methods of their own. (Schön 1983)
The situations themselves can be seen as
 varying the themes and provide a jumping
 off point for discussion of further
 situations and extension of themes.
Value of themes is in making the implicit
 issues explicit.

								
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