Despite decades of research, effective requirements engineering (RE) remains a significant challenge for software development projects. In addition, the study of RE processes has failed to keep pace with dramatic changes in IS development practice. In this study, we frame RE as a fundamentally socio-technical computational task in which diverse social actors and artifacts collaboratively “compute” the requirements for an envisioned software system. Through the perspective of distributed cognition, we analyze the distributed RE activities of three IS development projects, representing distinct methodological approaches. We develop models of the computational structures of these projects to support a novel analytical basis for comparison and contrast of three development methodologies - structured development, agile development, and open source software development.
Hansen, Sean; Kharabe, Amol; and Lyytinen, Kalle, "The Structures of Computation: A Distributed Cognitive Analysis of Requirements Evolution in Diverse Software Development Environments" (2013). International Research Workshop on IT Project Management 2013. 6.