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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/17065
Title: Goal-Driven Reflection
Other Titles: A Learning Oriented Approach for Organizational Requirements Development
???metadata.dc.contributor.*???: Prof. Christiane Floyd
Dr. Tesfaye Biru
Kifle, Mesfin
Keywords: Reflective Steps;User Participation;Domain-Orientation;Goal Orientation;Iterative and Incremental Approach;Goal-Driven Reflection;Organizational Ontology
Issue Date: Oct-2014
Publisher: Addis Ababa University
Abstract: The dynamism and complexity of organizations are increasing as time goes on. Hence, deciding what a target system should be is challenging to realize the required behavior in the organization it embeds. Requirements indicate what stakeholders need from the system and is described in terms of its effect on the environment. Requirements development refers to the overall process of understanding the as-is situation of an organization, what is needed to improve, what are the to-be requirements, and how do we approach doing these. A requirement expert should give attention to understand the users’ activity. This is a continuous learning process and requires collaborating with users to increase domain understanding. Moreover, the value of software applications in supporting organizational processes critically depends on how well the business goals are satisfied. Hence, the aim of this research was to come with an organizational requirement`s development approach that enables to bring four concerns together: user orientation, domain orientation, goal orientation and incremental and iterative approach. In the research, it is identified that the existing approaches have limited capability to bring them together to support collaborative learning. A qualitative research approach was employed by using three research methods: survey, case study and action research. Survey and case study were used to study and understand the practice of organizational requirements development at six public universities of Ethiopia. Document review, structured open-ended interview and observation were used for the survey and the case study. Action research was used in reflection to its notion in reflective system development and with reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action in two real software development projects of Addis Ababa University: Alumni Service System and Integrated Student Information Management System. Theoretical findings and approaches relevant to the four concerns were identified from the literature. These are: collective mind theory, single and double loop learning theory, Soft System Methodology, STEPS evolutionary approach and Reflective Steps. In addition to these, concepts related to organizational ontology and goaloriented approaches were reviewed and analyzed. Indeed, taking all together, it was made to enhance the Reflective Steps approach to support collaborative reflective learning for organizational requirements development. The approach resulted in is named Goal-Driven Reflection (GDR). It is a comprehensive and learning oriented approach for organizational requirements development. GDR is a cyclic approach and make use of a multi-perspective ontology. Goals play a vital role to drive collaboration among users and developers or requirement experts taking reflection as a means for learning. GDR includes three major activities in each cycle or iteration: maintain organizational ontology to initiate and facilitate user-developer collaboration, selection of relevant goals and processes or services for planning each cycle to realize goal-driven collaborative reflection, and requirements development. In each cycle of reflection, we do all the three activities by moving back and forth based on the results of reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action. Evaluation of the GDR was conducted in the process of the action research and it was done from two dimensions; from the development process point of view and based on completeness checking of the requirement definition documents produced. In effect, it was observed that GDR resulted better opportunity to increase completeness by increasing the level of shared understanding among users and requirement experts.
Description: A Dissertation Submitted to the Software Engineering Track Presented in Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Information Technology (Software Engineering)
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/17065
Appears in Collections:Thesis - Information Science

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