Requirements Elicitation - What's Missing?

Bill Davey, Chris Cope
InSITE 2008  •  Volume 8  •  2008
In this paper we show that interviews between IT consultants and clients are considered best practice in terms of methods for eliciting IS requirements as part of IS development projects. The process of conducting successful conversations with clients as part of requirements elicitation interviews is not well understood. The paper reports a literature survey which established current understanding. To date this understanding has been achieved through research which: considered conversations as black boxes; proposed and implemented treatments to be applied by consultants; and then measured the quality and quantity of the requirements elicited. The treatments have not been successful as poor requirements elicitation continues to be a major problem in IS development. Our analysis of current understanding indicated that consultants’ experiences of the nature of conversations with clients and approach to conducting conversations have not been studied. It would seem imperative to look inside the black box of consultants’ experiences of conducting conversations with clients if improvements to the outcomes of requirements elicitation are to be made. A study is proposed which aims to examine variation in how consultants experience requirements elicitation conversations. Through analyzing the variation in the light of current best practice it is aimed to identify the critical aspects of successfully conceived and conducted conversations. These critical aspects can then be used in IS education and practitioner training programs.
information systems, requirements elicitation
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