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Using soft systems methodology to improve requirements practices: an exploratory case study

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3 Author(s)
N. Niu ; Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Mississippi State University, Box 9637, MS 39762, USA ; A. Y. Lopez ; J. -R. C. Cheng

Soft systems methodology (SSM) should offer substantial benefits in managing expectations and requirements for a software-intensive system, but the benefits have not yet been examined empirically. This study reports an exploratory case study investigating the hypothesis that `soft systems approach would identify all the flaws in requirements practices and suggest improvements suited to an organisation`s context`. The authors analysed problematic requirements practices in an ongoing software-intensive socio-technical project, modelled potential changes and asked the project team to assess the organisational fit of these changes. The authors further monitored the requirements engineering improvements that the project team made according to the case study. The authors conclude that SSM could indeed uncover a relatively complete set of flaws in requirements practices. Although not all suggested changes were regarded as necessary, the implemented changes had contributed positively to the organisation`s requirements engineering improvements.

Published in:

IET Software  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 6 )