Co-design of Business and IT Systems during Requirements Elicitation

Research output: ThesisLicenciate


New and old information systems are being developed everyday. Still, most of the information systems do not meet customers’ needs: information system reliability, usability, and suitability for the task are not adequate. Information system developers and customers do not understand each others’ work processes and world views enough to be able to communicate sufficiently. Thus, the voice of the customers is often not heard or understood during the information system development process. Requirements elicitation is the first and a critical phase in the systems design process. If the right requirements are captured during this phase, there is a higher potential for the system to satisfy the customers’ needs. This study answers to the research question: how can business and IT systems be co-designed during requirements elicitation? Two sub-questions of this study are: What are the interdependencies between information system provider and customer during requirements elicitation? How should the interdependencies between information system provider and customer during requirements elicitation be coordinated? The literature of the study consists of information system development and coordination theories. Requirements engineering, communication, and involvement of customers theories are important parts of the literature. The thesis includes three case studies including action research. The case studies are about the requirements elicitation phase of an already existing, large financial information system development project. The Finnish information system provider wanted to elicit the requirements for the information system together with the customers: three bank groups. The cases took place between August 2006 and November 2007. Action research was carried out applying SimLab’s business process development method. Data was collected by interviews (28 people), process modeling sessions and simulation day discussions, two questionnaires, feedback forms, and observation. The results of the thesis are summarized into a conceptual framework that describes the process of co-designing business and IT systems during requirements elicitation. The process consists of three steps: 1) sharing IT and business knowledge through process modeling and simulations, 2) creating common understanding about common work processes and IS and business requirements, and 3) agreeing upon the coordination methods to be used during requirements elicitation and applying them. In addition, the findings suggest a new interdependency, named systemic interdependency, to coordination literature. Systemic interdependency is suggested to be coordinated by a new coordination mode, facilitated mutual adjustment.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationLicentiate Degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Smeds, Riitta, Supervisor, External person
Award date26 Mar 2010
Print ISBNs978-952-60-3116-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeG3 Licentiate thesis


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