UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Investigating the change processes in information systems requirements Taghavi, Atefeh


Success of information systems (IS) projects is deeply dependent on the quality of the requirements informing their design. Specifically, if the requirements are not precisely determined, IS cannot meet the business needs of organizations. One of the most enduring challenges in managing requirements is ongoing change in requirements. Changes emerge due to various reasons. The main goal of this dissertation is to shed more light on change drivers and change processes in IS requirements. To achieve this goal, we conduct three separate but interdependent studies. The first study elicits and synthesizes various change drivers from the extant literature. By employing a design science research methodology, we propose the Socio-Technical Change Framework and Socio-Technical Requirements Change Method. These two artifacts are drawing upon models in socio-technical systems studies. The proposed framework elaborates on how various social and technical change drivers jointly develop the changes in requirements. The proposed method also provides IS analysts with a new solution to anticipate potential future changes in requirements. The second study investigates the change drivers in contemporary IS projects. We approach this study from a qualitative research methodology. The results from the interviews and surveys reveal 14 categories of change drivers. These change drivers are similar to the change drivers in the first study. However, we explore that the contemporary context includes interesting unique characteristics, which moderate the change processes in IS requirements. The third study dives more deeply into some of the findings from the second study. Specifically, we examine how two of the important change drivers — changes in the environment and changes in user expectations — and one prominent characteristic of contemporary projects — interdependency between requirements — jointly influence the final changes in requirements. To address this query, we employ an agent-based simulation model. We explore interesting insights into the impact of the interdependency between requirements and learning patterns of the population on requirements change. In sum, the findings of all three studies contribute to the extant body of knowledge in IS requirements and open interesting avenues for future research. They also have practical implications for IS analysts, project managers, business owners, and third-party vendors.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International