Congratulations! You have reached one of the leading sites for information about determining requirements for systems, whether for changing something existing already (brownfield requirements), creating something new (greenfield requirements), or checking an existing system for completeness, consistency, or correctness.
'Systems' mean any kind of human made system. The thrust of much writing and activity about requirements is really about creating software; software in this sense refers to the instructions needed by digital computers to support wider system needs.
However, we are using the term 'requirements' in a very broad sense, and indeed some human activity systems may not use any software or computer support.
Requirements Analytics is a new organization started in 2011 bringing together a variety of projects spanning many years of experience. Its principal activities are: consulting; modelling requirements; providing training; facilitating workshops and learning opportunities; developing requirements modelling tools; and, providing a forum for discussion about all issues related to requirements. The key providers of services have many years of experience with different aspects of requirements.
The approach to computer supported systems is based on key ideas and tools developed from the world's largest research project in requirements modelling, the ISDOS and PRISE projects at the University of Michigan, along with the philosophical foundations for systems analysis techniques, relational theory, and object orientation set out by Carnap and represented by many organizations in terms of levels of models.
The approach to systems that have little or no computer support is also supported by a set of 'constructor' principles derived from Carnap, and supported where necessary by system modelling tools. A whole variety of other tools, ranging from statistical to legal analysis is also used where appropriate.
Our approach to most projects is multidisciplinary and usually involves innovative or challenging ideas and techniques. In every project we try to move the field forward.
In terms of modelling systems we are developing tools to support multiple levels of model. More discussion about that can be found on our related website about meta-meta modelling and meta-meta languages. We have moved that forward by setting out key principles and determining that the highest level of abstract model must be a meta-meta-meta model.
As an example of checking a non-computer-based system for completeness, we have looked at the UK's normal approach to child safeguarding and its Every Child Matters (ECM) programme. We have identified gaps and weaknesses in that, and the results are published in the book Emotional Abuse in the Classroom, and its related website. The tools used for that were highly varied, including ethnography and legal analysis.
Statistical tools have been used for projects as diverse as checking the validity and reliability of the views of constituents towards a proposed wind farm, and, checking a government agency's approach to evaluating lawyers' claims for criminal legal work.
Econometric tools have been used to test the idea of using econometrics as a device for monitoring arms control agreements. This approach has been field tested and indeed identified secret nuclear weapons projects for two different countries.
Ethnography has been used in several projects, including an exploration of why bank customers prefer to walk inside a bank to carry out simple transactions, rather than use an ATM. Ethnography has also been used to challenge and refine traditional methods used by master's students when writing business and management dissertations.
Many approaches to business process work have been examined, and training programmes developed. Some advice by very well known practitioners has been identified as seriously flawed. A summary of this work has appeared in the book Business Process Analysis.
There is a new book about information systems under development. The innovative approach in that is to challenge the current positioning of the fields of information systems and information technology, suggesting that they are misconceived and need radical re-direction. The book has material about IT in use thousands of years ago, and explores concepts such as music and culture as information systems.
This article only gives a brief indication of our scope. The key message is that when we talk about requirements, we are not limited to software, or computer-based systems.A section of brief case studies will be developed over time for this website, but these brief case studies will only be available to people who have registered at the site. Registration will also give access to a discussion forum expected to go live in October 2012.
If you wish to contact us, you can use the contact information available from the left hand menu.
Geoffrey Darnton, September 2012. Article v2.0