Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Early conversations about computer requirements : alternative approaches to understanding conversations between computer systems analysts and potential computer users, with a view to discovering what should be taught to computer experts about how to discover users' requirements
Author: Nicholson, Isobel
ISNI:       0000 0001 3446 1620
Awarding Body: University of Lancaster
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 1991
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Computer systems analysts arrange to meet users to find out what is required of software to support an improved human x computer system. Bostrom (1989) successfully uses the precision model to help users explain what they want. Double-loop learning should help analysts hear what users say, but this is difficult to use (Salaway 1987). This research found a majority of analysts had primitive models of users. First meetings are specially difficult: a. Users rapidly pour out masses of information. b. Analysts experience cognitive overload. C. There is less opportunity to use reflective technique. Three discrete populations of analysts were detected: GROUP ANALYSTS' VIEW OF PROBLEMS: A1: The analyst is the problem; A2: Systems thinking aids this difficult task. Why won't my colleagues use it? Any problems are due to users. IT MANAGERS' VIEW OF THIS ANALYST: Few problems; Perhaps naive; Very effective; Hard to control; Too often on users' side; Users complain, analyst doesn't care. In order to introduce analysts to systems thinking about people, the following models were designed: a. MENDAC, a cybernetic model of how people think while talking about computer requirements, designed to introduce technical experts to human-centered issues via the technical paradigm (avoids challenging the technical paradigm, because computer experts often reject human issues rather than question their existing values and assumptions). b. Management of disconfirming evidence: a model of how people might, decide when they could risk double-loop learning. c. H-structures, a model of both views in arguments concerning values. This highlights assumptions of semantic equivalence between one side's fear and the other side's aspirations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Computer science not elsewhere classified