Traditional methods for eliciting requirements focus on specifying functional requirements for the software without putting the same effort on understanding the system scope and what the stakeholders really need. As a result, users cannot agree easily on what they want or need, and resist formalizing the requirements that many times remain undefined for the lifetime of the project. This is one of the main reasons for the high failure rate in information system projects. In this paper we propose to apply Focus Groups in order to better elicit requirements for complex information system projects. Using Action Research as the research method, we have applied Focus Groups in real-world experiments to evaluate the proposal. The preliminary results show that stakeholders actually discuss different points of view about the system as a whole before reaching consensus and agreeing to formalize the requirements. We conclude that Focus Groups help to understand both system scope and actual needs better than using traditional methods based on requirements specification.
Farinha, Carla and da Silva, Miguel Mira, "Focus Groups For Eliciting Requirements In Information Systems Development" (2009). UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings 2009. 26.