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Contextual Inquiry and Requirements Shaping

Bednar, Peter LU and Welch, Christine (2009) In The Inter-Networked World: ISD Theory, Practice, and Education 1. p.225-236
Abstract
A primary purpose of traditional systems analysis is seen as ‘capture’ or ‘elicitation’ of user requirements, in order to produce specifications as a basis for information systems design. Such a view presupposes that user requirements are pre-existing and clear, and that the particular ‘users’ concerned know what they are, and can therefore articulate them. We would argue that none of these assumptions can be taken for granted. If a system is to be created which is useful to particular individuals, we suggest that they need to take ownership and control of the analysis themselves. By exploring their own experiences, aspirations and sense-making processes in the context of their problem space, they may enable richer and more comprehensive... (More)
A primary purpose of traditional systems analysis is seen as ‘capture’ or ‘elicitation’ of user requirements, in order to produce specifications as a basis for information systems design. Such a view presupposes that user requirements are pre-existing and clear, and that the particular ‘users’ concerned know what they are, and can therefore articulate them. We would argue that none of these assumptions can be taken for granted. If a system is to be created which is useful to particular individuals, we suggest that they need to take ownership and control of the analysis themselves. By exploring their own experiences, aspirations and sense-making processes in the context of their problem space, they may enable richer and more comprehensive understandings to emerge. A creative process of requirements shaping may then be promoted. Our focus, therefore, moves away from problem description by an external analyst, towards contextual inquiry, which supports creative thinking and problem re-definition by those individuals most affected. We will discuss methods which may facilitate exploration of multiple, simultaneous and dynamic roles of the same autonomous individuals, separately and collectively. Such methods may enable emergence of reflective, shifting perspectives, leading to deepened understandings of problem experiences. This approach makes it possible for resolutions to be created that address experiences, rather than descriptions, of problems. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Systems Analysis, Systems Development, Contextual Analysis, Critical Systemic Thinking, Requirement Shaping, Contextual Inquiry, Emergence
in
The Inter-Networked World: ISD Theory, Practice, and Education
editor
Barry, C; Conboy, K; Lang, M; Wojtkowski, G and Wojtkowski, W
volume
1
pages
225 - 236
publisher
Springer
ISBN
978-0-387-30403-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b6ee9dc5-fe96-4c0b-8840-42332e3f0def (old id 1486451)
date added to LUP
2009-10-12 14:42:49
date last changed
2016-04-16 08:52:49
@misc{b6ee9dc5-fe96-4c0b-8840-42332e3f0def,
  abstract     = {A primary purpose of traditional systems analysis is seen as ‘capture’ or ‘elicitation’ of user requirements, in order to produce specifications as a basis for information systems design. Such a view presupposes that user requirements are pre-existing and clear, and that the particular ‘users’ concerned know what they are, and can therefore articulate them. We would argue that none of these assumptions can be taken for granted. If a system is to be created which is useful to particular individuals, we suggest that they need to take ownership and control of the analysis themselves. By exploring their own experiences, aspirations and sense-making processes in the context of their problem space, they may enable richer and more comprehensive understandings to emerge. A creative process of requirements shaping may then be promoted. Our focus, therefore, moves away from problem description by an external analyst, towards contextual inquiry, which supports creative thinking and problem re-definition by those individuals most affected. We will discuss methods which may facilitate exploration of multiple, simultaneous and dynamic roles of the same autonomous individuals, separately and collectively. Such methods may enable emergence of reflective, shifting perspectives, leading to deepened understandings of problem experiences. This approach makes it possible for resolutions to be created that address experiences, rather than descriptions, of problems.},
  author       = {Bednar, Peter and Welch, Christine},
  editor       = {Barry, C and Conboy, K and Lang, M and Wojtkowski, G and Wojtkowski, W},
  isbn         = {978-0-387-30403-8},
  keyword      = {Systems Analysis,Systems Development,Contextual Analysis,Critical Systemic Thinking,Requirement Shaping,Contextual Inquiry,Emergence},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {225--236},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x874bfb8)},
  series       = {The Inter-Networked World: ISD Theory, Practice, and Education},
  title        = {Contextual Inquiry and Requirements Shaping},
  volume       = {1},
  year         = {2009},
}