User-Centered Requirements: The Scenario-Based Engineering Process

User-Centered Requirements: The Scenario-Based Engineering Process

User-Centered Requirements: The Scenario-Based Engineering Process

User-Centered Requirements: The Scenario-Based Engineering Process


Developing today's complex systems requires more than just good software engineering solutions. Many are faced with complex systems projects, incomplete or inaccurate requirements, canceled projects, or cost overruns, and have their systems' users in revolt and demanding more. Others want to build user-centric systems, but fear managing the process. This book describes an approach that brings the engineering process together with human performance engineering and business process reengineering. The result is a manageable user-centered process for gathering, analyzing, and evaluating requirements that can vastly improve the success rate in the development of medium-to-large size systems and applications.

Unlike some texts that are primarily conceptual, this volume provides guidelines, "how-to" information, and examples, enabling the reader to quickly apply the process and techniques to accomplish the following goals:

• define high quality requirements,

• enhance productive client involvement,

• help clients maintain competitiveness,

• ensure client buy-in and support throughout the process,

• reduce missing functionality and corrections, and

• improve user satisfaction with systems.

This volume clearly details the role of user-centered requirements and knowledge acquisition within Scenario-Based Engineering Process (SEP) and identifies SEP products and artifacts. It assists project personnel in planning and managing effective requirements activities, including managing risks, avoiding common problems with requirements elicitation, organizing project participants and tools, and managing the logistics. Guidelines are provided for the following: selecting the right individual and group techniques to elicit scenarios and requirements from users; subject matter experts, or other shareholders; and ensuring engineers or analysts have the necessary skills.


Computers and software programs are prevalent in our daily lives -- and no longer simply as number crunching machines. Today they operate as decision aides that support complex human tasks. Furthermore, some advances in computer automation are enabling businesses to revise, enhance, and streamline long-standing business processes and roles. However, advances in the field of computer automation and consequent new uses for computer systems have outpaced developers' abilities to build systems that are responsive to users' needs.

Both systems/software engineering and business process re-engineering are providing partial responses to this problem. Systems/software engineering changes address the systems development aspect, whereas business process re-engineering activities address issues related to work process and role refinement, including cultural, organizational, and enterprise issues.

In this chapter we describe a process that marries these engineering practices, resulting in a synergy that addresses current needs in the areas of business process refinement, automation, and systems development. The chapter begins with a description of the systems development problem, followed by a brief chronology of existing systems/software engineering solutions. Next, we present a definition of the Scenario-based Engineering Process (SEP) and a discussion of the characteristics and guiding principles that define it. We then offer a more in-depth discussion of SEP as a modelbased development process. Finally, we discuss the primary benefits of the SEP approach and present a rationale for its use.

This chapter is intended to provide the reader with an understanding of how the Scenario-based Engineering Process compares to existing so-

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