Involving Novice Users in Document-Driven System Requirements Analysis

By Cronholm, Stefan; Goldkuhl, Goran | Journal of Information, Information Technology, and Organizations, Annual 2006 | Go to article overview

Involving Novice Users in Document-Driven System Requirements Analysis


Cronholm, Stefan, Goldkuhl, Goran, Journal of Information, Information Technology, and Organizations


Introduction

The research question we address in this paper reads: How should a requirements analysis be carried out when novice users are involved? When planning a project for developing an information system (IS), it is necessary to consider many issues, such as time limits, which project members should be participating and whether they are available, and if there is feasible support in terms of methodologies and computer support. The type of project and the experience of the project members have also to be considered. In other words, there is a need for characterising the project conditions.

Members of a development project can have different experiences. Due to high maturity of information technology (IT) in today's organizations, many users are likely to have significant experience with computer use and information systems development (ISD). However, there are still situations where novice users participate in ISD projects. This means that they have a lower degree of experience from interacting with computers and no experience from participating in different different change or development projects. In this research we address the problems of involving novice users in ISD projects. We focus on the analysis phase and some recommendations for the design phase, rather than on a full development methodology (that has other phases such as design, construction, implementation, and maintenance).

There are many competitive methodologies for analysing business processes and business information in order to develop ISes. Sometimes these methodologies also tell us why we should act in one way or another (e.g., Jayaratna, 1994). One of the most popular methodologies today is the object-oriented approach called Rational Unified Process (RUP) (e.g., Kruchten, 1999). What these methodologies do not tell us is how to perform ISD when project members are novices. Introna and Whitley (1997) argue that relying exclusively on methodologies can be risky. Further, they claim that methodologies cannot bring light to all characteristics of the situation that can be discovered. We think that these methodologies are too complex and abstract when an IS is being developed in close collaboration with future end-users that have no or little experience of using computers and participating in ISD projects.

Advocates of the participatory design approach have paid significant attention to the influence of users on the ISD process. They argued for a broad and genuine participation aiming at agreement between ISes and the organization of work (Hagerfors, 1994; Kensing, 2003; Kling, 1977; Mumford & Henshall, 1983). Carlshamre (1994) posited that participatory design was more of a philosophy than a methodology. Although participatory design has included some techniques to facilitate requirements analysis, it lacked a procedural description of how and when to apply these techniques.

Vonk (1990) and Urquhart (1998) argued that there was a communication gap between the professional systems developers and the users. Vonk (1990) maintained that the main problem was a use of different languages. The author advocated a more extensive use of pictures in order to overcome this problem. Vonk (1990) preferred a prototyping approach that would bring more attention to the user interface than traditional ISD methodologies did. Many research efforts have been pursued in the area of user involvement and participatory design. But as Markus and Mao (2004) concluded, while "prior research has offered evidence in support of a link between participation and system success, ... much remains to be understood about how and why participation works" (p. 524). They suggested that research should be refocused toward the practices of IS developers when they facilitate user participation. It is crucial that developers and users work together, rather than just interact in design meetings. The authors add, and we concur, that "it is not the mere fact or quantity of participation that matters, but also the quality of participation" (p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Involving Novice Users in Document-Driven System Requirements Analysis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.