Shifts in foci and priorities. Different relevance of requirements to changing goals yields conflicting prioritizations and is viewpoint-dependent

Johannes Ferdinand Hoorn, Mark E. Breuker, Evelien Kok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Stakeholders judge goal relevance and software-development project requirements differently, considering them from a business versus a personal viewpoint. Three empirical studies provided evidence that stakeholders' personal goals for a system are valued higher than business goals and that, moreover, changes in personal goals lead to significantly more prioritization activity than changes in business goals. In Study 1, police officers expressed their agreement to a list of requirements on a Capacity Management System from a business and a personal viewpoint. We found a 'requirements-analysis rift,' indicating that stakeholders regard requirements as business-related, agreeing with them even if these requirements do not match their personal goals. In Study 2, science students rank-ordered the same list of requirements on an e-learning environment from a university and a personal perspective. In Study 3, we conducted a similar study with a sample of financial consultants. The latter two studies revealed that, when personal goals changed, prioritization shifts were stronger than when business goals changed. In addition, we suggest a method using the Spearman rho statistic to calculate changes in requirements prioritization under different conditions of goal change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-485
Number of pages21
JournalSoftware Process Improvement and Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Business
  • Change
  • Goals
  • Prioritization
  • Requirements
  • Viewpoints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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