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Information Brokers in Requirement-Dependency Social Networks

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4 Author(s)
Sabrina Marczak ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Victoria, Victoria, BC ; Daniela Damian ; Ulrike Stege ; Adrian Schröter

Requirements interdependencies create technical dependencies among project members that generally belong to different functional groups in an organization, but who need to coordinate activities during processes of requirements change management. Effective knowledge management is needed to disseminate information on requirement changes across teams working on interdependent requirements to avoid mis-interpretations. Social networks are regarded as important in fostering knowledge management, where brokers or gatekeepers have the role of project members facilitating information flow. However, little is known about processes of information flow and brokerage in social networks built around interdependent requirements. In a field study of requirement interdependencies in a large IT manufacturing organization, we found that brokers holding pockets of knowledge have an impact on information flow in requirement-interdependent teams. We discuss a number of patterns of information flow and draw implications for processes of requirements change management.

Published in:

2008 16th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference

Date of Conference:

8-12 Sept. 2008