The Challenge of Bringing User and Development Communities Together

The Challenge of Bringing User and Development Communities Together

Adamantios Koumpis (ALTEC S. A. Thessaloniki, Greece) and Vasiliki Moumtzi (ALTEC S. A. Thessaloniki, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-671-6.ch020
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Work reported in this chapter relates with work carried out in the context of the European IST Project SemanticGov ( The project aims at implementing a set of advanced Semantic Web technologies for adoption in the European public sector to advance the level and expand the volume of e-government solutions in the EU. This research elaborates on the need to (re)position the idea of providing an advanced solution for an ideally functioning e-Gov island within a sea of noninteroperable e-Gov process frameworks, to become parts of open-ended ventures to allow the creation of collaborative networks for electronic governance.
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What has become obvious to us as result of our exposure to several e-Gov adoption pitfalls, is that we are not facing a lack on enabling technologies but on paradigms to successfully deploy them.

In this context, the main aim of this work is to provide a new open development paradigm on how user and development communities can coexist and co-work for the definition of new e-Gov mission-oriented application concepts. At a second level, what is important is to help the organization of the requirements elicitation processes, the compliance validation and quality checking processes in a synergetic way with both users from the European public sector and developers’ communities forming essential part of the intellectual service and software engineering processes.

The vision is to understand how to capitalise on the interactions between e-Gov users and developers as part of a value chain that creates new intellectual capital for new e-Gov application types by exploring problem-solving principles in computer science and other disciplines.

This necessitates the existence and fostering of closer links between the sides of the users and the developers, both of which need to share a space for expressing as well as exploring their own modes of thought and help improve their problem-solving paradigm.

Better understanding and communication with the future users of the systems requires the software creation to be placed at the level of abstraction the users can understand. Better communication between IT- and application field-specialists will lead to avoidance of misunderstanding, loss of time and resources and in the effect to systems that better address the needs of the end users. This refers to the creation of policies, processes and practices that will enrich the people in both communities of users and developers to coexist smoothly and gain from their interactions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Collaborative Governance: A process and a form governance in which participants (parties, agencies, stakeholders) representing different interests are collectively empowered to make a policy decision or make recommendations to a final decision-maker who will not substantially change consensus recommendations from the group.

Community Building: Community building is a field of practices directed toward the creation or enhancement of community between individuals within a regional area (such as a neighbourhood) or with a common interest. It is sometimes encompassed under the field of community development.

Government Service Interoperability: Collaboration ability of cross-border services for citizens, businesses and public administrations. Exchanging data can be a challenge due to language barriers, different specifications of formats and varieties of categorisations.

Intangible Assets: Identifiable non-monetary assets that cannot be seen, touched or physically measured, which are created through time and/or effort and that are identifiable as a separate asset. In the context of this chapter they relate to competitive intangibles such as knowledge activities (know-how, knowledge), collaboration activities, leverage activities, and other structural activities.

Intangibles: A colloquial expression for qualities in an individual or group of individuals, especially those organized in an official group (e.g. as parts of a community) which affect performance but are not readily observable. Often appears in the literature together with the term intangible assets.

Government Collaboration Patterns: The use of institutions, structures of authority and even collaboration to allocate resources and coordinate or control activity within a governmental authority or amongst several ones.

Community Of Practice: A self-organised group of individuals with common goals related with a process of social learning that occurs and shared sociocultural practices that emerge and evolve when the members of the community interact as they strive towards those goals.

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