Towards a Requirements Formalism in UML

Merrick, P. J. and Barrow, P. D. M. (2003) Towards a Requirements Formalism in UML. In: Electronic Proceedings of 8th United Kingdom Academy of Information Systems (UKAIS) Conference, 2003-04-09 - 2003-04-11.

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This paper looks at the case for including a Use Case model as part of a Request for Proposal (RFP) during the process of competitive tendering for a new IT system. Customer organisations suffer from the perceived problem of writing tender documents that contain ambiguous requirements, which in turn may render guesswork the calculation of an accurate price and delivery schedule. The process described in this paper looks at ways in which Use Case modelling can be undertaken by the customer organisation to improve IT procurement. Applicable to both bespoke software development and Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) evaluation, the potential benefit from the adoption of Use Case modelling in procurement are explored. Use Case modelling has generally been an activity undertaken by analysts after commercial contracts have been agreed. This is partially due to the complexity and time-consuming nature of producing Use Cases, and partially due to the confusion that surrounds their representation. In this paper, a minimal Use Case representation, suitable for the purpose of procurement, is proposed. Use Case modelling suffers from a lack of guidance that allows a set of Use Cases produced for the same purpose to be represented at the same conceptual level. There is tension between the Jacobson philosophy that defines Use Cases as being oriented strictly around the user and the broader hierarchy of Use Case goals approach, introduced by Cockburn. This paper seeks to bring both approaches together and show that while Use Cases have the primary function of representing users’ requirements, there exists another dimension of Use Case applicability focused on serving the needs of all project’s stakeholders.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Computing Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Innovation, Technology and Operations Management
Depositing User: Vishal Gautam
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2011 18:15
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2021 00:31

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