Cultural Context and its Impact on Requirements Elicitation in Thailand

Theerasak Thanasankit, Brian Corbitt

Abstract


This paper reports one part of an ethnographic study of how software analysts in Thai software houses undertake the requirements engineering process. In this paper the impact of Thai culture on the elicitation of requirements in information systems developed will be reported. The important role of requirements for software and systems development can be traced to the early study of software engineering. Software developers realised that errors during the requirements phase caused high cost in fixing systems and often led to rejection of systems (Laudon and Laudon 1995). This paper compares the nature of elicitation of requirements by systems analysts in Thailand with standard descriptions of elicitation in requirements engineering research. Detailed descriptions of elicitation processes and an evaluation of text are used to suggest that elicitation in Thailand is affected by different use of analytical and elicitation tools, different adaptation of those tools to the elicitation process, an inability to gain full access to all users where requirements can be identified, increased time needed to uncover requirements and an inability to develop requirements specification. This has important implications for Software Houses using western consultants or organisations employing consultants not familiar with Thai Culture. Understanding the nature of the impact of Thai culture on Requirements engineering processes should ensure that project failure due to poor understanding of requirements for systems would be lessened.

Keywords


Culture, Requirements Elicitation

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The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries. ISSN: 1681-4835 www.ejisdc.org