Publication Details

Brown, R. B. K., Hyland, P. & Piper, I. C. (2006). Specifying system requirements using the 5S method. ACIS 2006 Proceedings - 17th Australasian Conference on Information Systems (pp. 1-11).


The 5S Method takes an Activity Theory approach to stakeholder elicitation. We interview stakeholders and build up a network of Activities according to Activity Theory precepts. These Activities are hierarchically decomposed into the smaller units of Action and Operation. This comprises a useful conceptual map of the human motivations and dependencies prior to insertion of the new computer based system. To identify and describe such a potential computer system, we analyse and identify linkages between the Activities and assemble a list of those which could usefully pass through such a computer system. Design decisions are driven and evaluated by reference to the conceptual map. We believe a description of these linkages and their relations forms an effective requirements specification for the computer system. We contend that there are advantages for conducting the whole software development lifecycle under a unifying and consistent theoretical framework. In this paper, we briefly illustrate how a System Requirements Specification might be drawn under the 5S method. © 2006 Robert B.K. Brown, Peter Hyland & Ian C. Piper.