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Resg pres apr10

Resg pres apr10






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    Resg pres apr10 Resg pres apr10 Presentation Transcript

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