Requirements Engineering

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 114–124 | Cite as

Linguistic Problems with Requirements and Knowledge Elicitation

  • David C. Sutton

Human and conversational aspects of requirements and knowledge identification are employed to show that requirements ‘engineering’ is not the same as civil engineering or scientific problem solving. Not only can requirements not be made fully explicit at the start of a project, they cannot be made fully explicit at all. A need is identified to enhance computer-based information systems (CBIS) development methods to accommodate: plurality of incommensurable perspectives, languages and agendas; dynamic representations of system features that can be experienced rather than abstracted and forced into an abstract paper-based representation; recognition that CBIS development is in general a continuous process where users changing their minds is a natural and necessary indication or organisational vitality.

 It is suggested that prototyping and rapid application development go some way to addressing these requirements but that they require further development in the light of the theoretical light thrown on the nature of the problem.

Key words: Elicitation – Epistemology – Linguistic – Prototyping – Representation – Requirements 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Sutton
    • 1
  1. 1.System Six Ltd, Macclesfield, UKGB

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