This article explores the issue of how human factors can be addressed during the development of e-collaboration systems, in particular at the early stage of design since these systems may require new ways of working. It can be difficult to capture requirements for e-collaboration from existing users for two reasons. Firstly, engaging the potential users in requirements capture can be problematic as those users may not perceive themselves as potential users at the outset and hence not putting themselves forward in any consultation exercise. Even with the interested parties (or stakeholders) identified, they may not understand the full potential of how these new tools help people work more effectively with each other. Hence, requirements capture is a challenge for developing e-collaboration systems.
Key Terms in this Chapter
System Development Life Cycle: The process towards delivering a computerized solution from the inception of an idea to the installation of the system (main stages can be requirements capture, analysis, design, implementation, testing, installation, and maintenance).
Scenario: The use of story-telling techniques to describe the flow of events with a particular focus.
As-Is Scenario: A story with narrative details on how the operations are currently being performed.
Usability Test: A methodical way to find out how well a particular artifact is being used by a person and if the purpose is being met.
E-Collaboration System: Computer- and network-based system that supports collaborative activities undertaken by two or more people who are usually in different places.
To-Be Scenario: A story with narrative details on how future operations will be performed. It is more visionary and serves as a target for development.
Stakeholder: People or organization who have an interest in the outcome, for examples, owner, customers, suppliers, or employees.
Motivator Factors: Factors that are required to ensure continuing interests in using the system.
Hygiene Factors: Factors that will cause dissatisfaction if absent but their presence does not necessarily lead to satisfaction.