Applying collaborative process design to user requirements elicitation: A case study

Azadegan, Aida; Papamichail, K. Nadia and Sampaio, Pedro (2013). Applying collaborative process design to user requirements elicitation: A case study. Computers in Industry, 64(7) pp. 798–812.



User requirements play a central role in software development processes by bridging the needs of business to the software. In many cases stakeholders who have different perspectives and expectations about the future system need to collaborate to clarify, capture and uncover user requirements in an efficient and effective manner. Many industry experts have admitted that collaboration among stakeholders in a facilitated workshop, aimed at defining and articulating user requirements, is one of the most difficult tasks in software development. The aim of the research described in this paper is to present a process that can address the challenges of collaborative user requirements elicitation workshops. The process contains activities that correspond to a pattern of collaboration. Developed on a pattern-based architecture, the process is reusable and can be applied to similar user requirements elicitation workshops. To achieve this goal, the principles of Collaboration Engineering (CE) are applied to design collaborative processes that consist of ThinkLets, a set of facilitation scripts and process-building blocks, bundled together. The process is evaluated in practice by running facilitated workshops as well as by collecting experts’ comments and opinions. The results indicate that the approach is usable and useful. The paper concludes with further elaboration and discussions on research contribution and potential future work in the field.

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