Resg pres apr10

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Resg pres apr10

  1. 1. Harnessing Stakeholders in Requirements Elicitation Alastair Milne, City University Supervisor: Prof Neil Maiden
  2. 2. About me… <ul><li>Started in academia as researcher in economic history </li></ul><ul><li>MSc in Information Systems, Diploma in Change Management </li></ul><ul><li>For last 15 years have worked in wide range of sectors/organisations in a variety of IT roles </li></ul><ul><li>Most recently project managed large website projects, such as the Times Educational Supplement, www.tes.co.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Currently working as consultant ( www.sukotto.co.uk ) putting together requirements for online projects and providing digital strategy consultancy. Focus on publishing and arts organisations </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why a PhD in this area? <ul><li>Longstanding interest in academia </li></ul><ul><li>Want to deliver better projects </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in how organisations work </li></ul><ul><li>Synergy with my commercial work </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners don’t really benefit from a lot of rigorous academic research </li></ul><ul><li>Academic work on requirements tends to have little practical to offer to practitioners - an emphasis on formal techniques that often doesn’t address the complex realities of modern organisations </li></ul>
  4. 4. Core problems to address <ul><li>IT projects nowadays tend to be less discrete and more ‘systemic’ within organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Projects require a much deeper understanding of stakeholder goals and motivations </li></ul><ul><li>The organisational context is more complex, boundaries are more blurred, external factors are more important </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements elicitation today is much more of a creative and exploratory process than a question of finding a ‘correct’ solution to a problem </li></ul>
  5. 5. Assertions - 1 <ul><li>Requirements engineering can be viewed as an essentially political and organisational problem </li></ul><ul><li>Tools and techniques need to be developed to address this </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding stakeholders and organisational context is critical </li></ul><ul><li>The idea of a requirements engineer as the central actor in the requirements process can be questioned </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements gathering should be approached as an emergent, collaborative process, and the requirements engineer’s role should be one of facilitation </li></ul>
  6. 6. Assertions - 2 <ul><li>Stakeholder goals and motivations towards a problem are often not ‘rational’, but can only be understood within a wider political and organisational context (example) </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding stakeholder motivations and organisational context can be usefully approached by exploring power relationships between actors </li></ul><ul><li>Power relationships are an important determinant of goals and motivations </li></ul>
  7. 7. My proposal <ul><li>To go beyond simply identifying stakeholders and their attitude towards a particular problem </li></ul><ul><li>To develop techniques that explore the nature of relationships between stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>To use emergent techniques to develop ‘rich’ networks of stakeholders and their relationships </li></ul><ul><li>To utilise social networking tools and online collaborative software to build up networks in an emergent rather than directive fashion </li></ul>
  8. 8. How does it differ from existing approaches? <ul><li>Not just focused on identifying stakeholders and their relationship to a problem, but recognises the importance of stakeholders’ relationships to each other, particularly in terms of power </li></ul><ul><li>Focus is on the organisational context to identify issues that could influence the requirements process </li></ul>
  9. 9. What kind of information to collect? <ul><li>Existence of network links </li></ul><ul><li>Strength of links between actors – e.g. do the actors work together on a daily basis? </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of power relationships – e.g. line management </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational boundaries, e.g. in same team, department, outside organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of roles with respect to problem area – e.g. decision-maker, budget-holder, subject expert, creative input, resource-allocator </li></ul><ul><li>Identification of goals and motivations of actors – self-identification and assessing others </li></ul>
  10. 10. The proposed process <ul><li>1/ Identify the problem area </li></ul><ul><li>2/ Identify initial set of key stakeholders as ‘seeds’ for the network </li></ul><ul><li>3/ Stakeholders suggest other potential stakeholders – iterative process </li></ul><ul><li>4/ Once network is ‘complete’, use online questionnaires to identify nature and strength of relationships between actors, and actors to identify their own, and other actors, roles, goals and motivations </li></ul><ul><li>5/ Once process is complete, map the resulting network </li></ul><ul><li>6/ Report on issues identified by the process, e.g. roles not filled, communication gaps, confusion over roles </li></ul>
  11. 11. Potential benefits of analysis <ul><li>Identify all relevant stakeholders and their relationships, and establish key roles </li></ul><ul><li>Identify issues with the network – e.g. communication problems, over-dependence on key individuals, gatekeepers </li></ul><ul><li>Identify role conflicts or uncertainty – e.g. confusion over who the key decision-makers are </li></ul><ul><li>Identify ‘missing’ roles – e.g. lack of creative input </li></ul><ul><li>Identify conflicts in assessments of goals and motivations – highlighting lack of communication/understanding </li></ul>
  12. 12. Theoretical basis <ul><li>Stakeholder theories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Freeman (84) – strategic management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mitchell, Agle, Wood (97) – stakeholder salience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frooman (99) – emphasis on power </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social and political aspects of requirements engineering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Macaulay (96) – going beyond technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Checkland (90) – Soft Systems – importance of organisational context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ramos, Berry (05) – Emotion in RE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thew, Sutcliffe (08) – ‘Soft’ issues in the RE process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sutcliffe (10) – Extending i* for sociotechnical systems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social network analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knoke, Yang (82/08) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watts (04) – Six degrees </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Theories of power </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Foucault – Power/Knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lukes – power shaping preferences through values, norms, ideologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>French, Raven (59) – 5 forms of power </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Combined’ approaches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rowley (97) – Mapping stakeholder networks – density of networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lim, Quercia, Finkelstein (09) – StakeNet – identifying and prioritising stakeholders using social networks </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Potential Case Studies <ul><li>Arts organisation looking at new box office/fundraising system </li></ul><ul><li>Digital agency developing new CMS functionality </li></ul><ul><li>National theatre organisation replacing existing website </li></ul>
  14. 14. Some issues <ul><li>Stakeholders can be individuals, roles, and groups. How will network models deal with this? E.g ‘customers’. </li></ul><ul><li>Political relationships are by nature contentious and motivations are often hidden, or even unconscious. Could proposed techniques highlight issues that are best not raised? </li></ul><ul><li>Are socio-political issues quantifiable? </li></ul><ul><li>Proposal would highlight issues but proposes no means to resolve them </li></ul><ul><li>Is it possible to create tools/questionnaires that can be applied universally to projects? Or would they need to be tailored? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Contact details <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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