Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Gert-Jan De Vreede


The rise of stakeholder centered software development has led to organizations engaging users early in the development process to help define system requirements. To facilitate user involvement in the requirements elicitation process, companies can use Group Support Systems (GSS) to conduct requirements elicitation workshops. The effectiveness of these workshops for generating a valuable set of requirements for system developers has been previously demonstrated. However, a more representative measure of progress towards a system that will meet users’ needs-- the completeness of the requirements generated by such groups has not been explored. We explore two process design considerations for increasing the completeness of requirements generated by these users: increased sharing of user stories (individual electronic brainstorming groups vs. shared user stories electronic brainstorming groups), and the use of reflective inducement prompts (unprompted vs. prompted groups). Using the Search for Ideas in Active Memory model, we predict that prompted electronic brainstorming groups will outperform any other group, including prompted, shared user stories groups at generating a more thorough set of requirements. To test the hypotheses an experiment with 56 groups consisting of 197 users was conducted. The users were asked to generate requirements for a fictitious online textbook exchange website. All hypotheses received support. The study has implications for GSS-Supported workshop design and for future research on collaborative performance in requirements elicitation.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Copyright 2013 Aaron Read.

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