Quality Driven Requirements Engineering for Development of Crisis Management Systems

Quality Driven Requirements Engineering for Development of Crisis Management Systems

Niklas Hallberg (Swedish Defence Research Agency & KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden), Sofie Pilemalm (Linköping University, Sweden) and Toomas Timpka (Linköping University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/jiscrm.2012040103
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Terror attacks and natural disasters of the past decades have dramatically made governments, public health authorities, and communities aware of insufficiencies in crisis management practices. Information technology has the potential to advance these practices, but systems that support handling these courses of events still have low success rates. The authors set out to define a requirements engineering method suitable for the development of crisis management systems (CMS). The resulting method was formatively evaluated in a project aimed at defining functions for systems supporting international engagements in crisis situations. Each step in the method was documented by its objective, output, implementation, and the experiences gained from the case study. The most important features of the method are the Voice of the Customer Table for identification of user needs, Use Cases for determination of requirements from the needs, and scenarios and prototypes for validating the requirements with user representatives.
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The past decades’ terror attacks such as those in New York (2001), Madrid (2004) and London (2005), and natural disasters such as the tsunami in the Pacific Ocean (2004) and Japan (2011), the hurricane Katrina in New Orleans (2005), and the earthquake in Haiti (2010) have dramatically made governments, public health authorities and citizens world-wide aware of insufficiencies in current crisis management practices. Accordingly, spending of resources to develop measures for crisis prevention, alleviation of the consequences and aftermath restoration is generally regarded to be justified from both humane and financial perspectives. When handling disasters and crises, it must be taken into regard that these situations often evolve in unexpected ways and require specific responses (Turoff, White, Plotnick, & Hiltz, 2008). Information systems have been recognized to be key resources in these circumstances by providing support for situational awareness, decision making, coordination of actions, and exchange of information (Jefferson, 2006). However, to just simply introduce information technology does not automatically lead to more efficient crisis handling (Landgren, 2007). The systems need to adequately support the complex, unpredictable, and continuously evolving crisis management process (Mendonca, Jefferson, & Harrald, 2007). Fulfillment of such requirements is a considerable challenge for systems developers and the methods they use.

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