What Formal Models Cannot Show Us: People Issues During the Prototyping Process

  • Counsell S
  • Phalp K
  • Mendes E
 et al. 
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Abstract

Modelling a process using techniques such as Role Activity Diagrams (RADs) [13] can illustrate a large amount of useful information about the process under study. What they cannot show as easily however, are the informal practices during that process. In this paper, we analyse the prototyping process as part of an IS development strategy across five companies. Interview text from project managers, prototypers and other development staff across the five companies was analysed. Interestingly, results point to several key recurring issues amongst staff. These include non-adherence to any prototyping guidelines or standards, sketchy change request procedures, concern over time and cost deadlines and the importance attached to developer experience during the overall process. The notion of prototyping as a simple and easily managed development strategy does not hold. Our analysis provides complementary qualitative data about the opinions of prototyping to inform business process re-engineering of those formal RADs.

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Authors

  • Steve Counsell

  • Keith Phalp

  • Emilia Mendes

  • Stella Geddes

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