Establishing a Foundation for Collaborative Scenario Elicitation

Ann M. Hickey, Douglas L. Dean, Jay F. Nunamaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Eliciting and integrating requirements from large groups of diverse users remains a major challenge for the software engineering community. Scenarios are becoming recognized as valuable means of identifying actions taken by users when executing a business process and interacting with an information system, and therefore have great potential for addressing requirements elicitation problems. A review of the scenario literature indicates that, although there is widespread agreement on the usefulness of scenarios, there are many unanswered questions about how to elicit scenario definitions from individual users and user groups efficiently. This research examines how increasing the structure of scenario definitions affects scenario quality and the efficiency of scenario definition by individual users. During a laboratory experiment, subjects defined scenarios using a general-purpose GSS, GroupSystems Group Outliner, with one of three textual scenario formats that ranged from unstructured to very structured. Scenario quality and the efficiency of scenario definition by users were compared across the formats. Results highlighted the efficiency of the unstructured format but revealed that all formats produced incomplete scenario definitions. Recommendations are made for an iterative collaborative scenario process and a special-purpose GSS scenario tool that may overcome some of these problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-110
Number of pages19
JournalData Base for Advances in Information Systems
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999


  • Group support systems
  • IS development methods and tools
  • Information requirements determination
  • Participative design
  • Scenarios

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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