Requirements Elicitation Technique Selection: A Theory-Based Contingency Model

Requirements Elicitation Technique Selection: A Theory-Based Contingency Model

Miguel I. Aguiree-Urreta (DePaul University, USA) and George M. Marakas (University of Kansas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-172-8.ch005
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Requirements elicitation has been recognized as a critical stage in system development projects, yet current models prescribing particular elicitation techniques are still limited in their development and application. This research reviews efforts aimed at addressing this issue, and synthesizes a common structure consisting of project contingencies, elicitation techniques, logic of fit, and a success construct, arguing for the need to more comprehensively study and organize each. As a first step in this research, models drawn from organizational literature are used to categorize project contingencies into dimensions dealing with their impact on the uncertainty and equivocality of the overall development project.
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Information requirements determination (IRD) has long been considered a critical stage in system development projects (Browne and Ramesh, 2002). The need for advancing our understanding in this area can be argued from four different perspectives. First, requirements determination is conducted early in the systems development lifecycle, and outcomes of this phase have a strong impact on project quality and outcomes. In addition, strong empirical evidence highlights the negative effects requirements uncertainty (Nidumolu, 1995) or requirements risk (Wallace, et al., 2004) have on development project performance. Third, issues related to requirements determination consistently top rankings of software development risks as perceived by project managers (Schmidt, et al., 2001). Finally, lack of understanding about users´ needs and expectations results in the failure of a significant proportion of development projects (Hickey and Davis, 2003). In summary, any improvement in the process of eliciting and understanding requirements holds significant promise for the improvement of development activities (Browne and Rogich, 2001).

Despite the importance for development success, and the significant amount of research studying the relative effectiveness of different elicitation techniques, the literature has yet to converge on a framework prescribing the most effective use of specific techniques in varying situations; although several have been proposed (Davis, 1982; Maiden and Rugg, 1996; Hickey and Davis, 2004; Tsumaki and Tamai, 2005). More than twenty years ago, Valusek and Fryback (1985) stated “… we should soon be able to prescribe a strategy and tool for managing through the IRD portion of these problems…” yet progress in this regard has been scant. While significant research has been conducted on the performance effects of specific elicitation techniques, we are no closer to prescription than before.

This work seeks to establish the foundations of a research program into the selection of requirements elicitation techniques. It does so by building on the contingency structure proposed by Hickey and Davis (2004), by providing the underlying logic, grounded on the information processing model proposed by Daft and Lengel (1986), for the increased effectiveness resulting from appropriately matching2 elicitation techniques to project situations. The task for which the system is developed, users, stakeholders, and analysts, are characterized as sources of uncertainty and equivocality, and elicitation techniques as mechanisms with the capacity to reduce and resolve same. This framework offers a more detailed perspective by moving away from overall project levels of uncertainty and equivocality, and into the task, users and analysts, each with their own particular issues, as separate sources, potentially requiring different techniques for successful elicitation performance.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Hong Zhang, Rajiv Kishore, Ram Ramesh
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Chapter 3
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Chapter 4
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Chapter 5
Miguel I. Aguiree-Urreta, George M. Marakas
Requirements elicitation has been recognized as a critical stage in system development projects, yet current models prescribing particular... Sample PDF
Requirements Elicitation Technique Selection: A Theory-Based Contingency Model
Chapter 6
VenuGopal Balijepally, Sridhar Nerur, RadhaKanta Mahapatra
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Chapter 7
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UB2SQL: A Tool for Building Database Applications Using UML and B Formal Method
Chapter 8
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Chapter 9
Karen Corral, David Schuff, Robert D. St. Louis, Ozgur Turetken
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A Model for Estimating the Savings from Dimensional vs. Keyword Search
Chapter 10
Praveen Madiraju, Rajshekhar Sunderraman, Shamkant B. Navathe, Haibin Wang
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Chapter 11
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Accelerating Multi Dimensional Queries in Data Warehouses
Chapter 12
Vikas Agrawal, P. S. Sundararaghavan, Mesbah U. Ahmed, Udayan Nandkeolyar
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Chapter 13
Athman Bouguettaya, Zaki Malik, Xumin Liu, Abdelmounaam Rezgui, Lori Korff
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WebFINDIT: Providing Data and Service-Centric Access through a Scalable Middleware
Chapter 14
James E. Wyse
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Chapter 15
Shing-Han Li, Shi-Ming Huang, David C. Yen, Cheng-Chun Chang
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Migrating Legacy Systems to Web Services Architecture
Chapter 16
Myeong Ho Lee
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A Socio-Technical Interpretation of IT Convergence Services: Applying a Perspective from Actor Network Theory and Complex Adaptive Systems
Chapter 17
T. Ariyachandra, L. Dong
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Understanding Organizational Transformation from IT Implementations: A Look at Structuration Theory
Chapter 18
Yuan Long, Keng Siau
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Social Networks Structures in Open Source Software Development Teams
Chapter 19
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