Nkwocha, A.; Hall, J. G. and Rapanotti, L.
Design rationale capture for process improvement in the globalised enterprise: an industrial study.
Software and Systems Modeling
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Design rationale fills in the gaps between the original requirements of a system and the finished product encompassing decisions, constraints and other information that influenced the outcome. Existing research in Software Engineering corroborates the importance of design rationale to capture knowledge assets, particularly in the context of the global enterprise, with its increased reliance on IT systems, and risk of knowledge loss through staff movement and attrition. Despite this, the practice of design rationale capture is not as extensive as could be expected due to reasons which include time and budget constraints, the lack of standards and tools, and some uncertainty as to its actual added value. In this paper, we address the viability and benefits of capturing design rationale as a by-product of design in the context of a real-world global organisational setting. This was achieved through a study in which an emerging design approach—Problem Oriented Engineering—was applied in the context of a global financial institution to address a critical IT problem as part of its software supplier’s client resolution process. The study provides some positive evidence that the approach-guided knowledge capture of key design rationale elements and that it combined well with existing practices within the organisation and even led to improvement to one of their key processes.
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