Abstract

Few studies have examined how Information Requirement Determination (IRD) is practiced in the Arab world. To lessen the gap, this empirical study reports on the perception of 19 IRD methods in Kuwait, an Arab country. Based on a sample of 87 software stakeholders, this study reports on the most known, widely used and highly valued IRD methods. Results show that Arab culture influences perception of IRD techniques in that: (i) the most used is the traditional technique (interview), followed by the formal analysis technique (DFD), and group elicitation technique (brainstorming); (ii) the most valued techniques from past projecst are external representation techniques (Decision trees), followed by unstructured elicitation techniques (goal oriented elicitation), and observation technique (prototyping); and (iii) the least known, used and valued techniques are UML, Ishikawa and cognitive technique (KJ- methods). In addition, the study reveals some additional factors that affect IRD practices such as the existence of a correlation between past IS project problems and the usage of three techniques (QFD, DFD and role playing), the existence of a correlation between two techniques (prototyping and decision trees) and the statement "obtaining the right requirements is essential to successful system development". Other correlations were also found between some IRD techniques and specific used information system development methodologies. This paper discusses findings which are relevant to theory and practice.

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