Accession Number : ADA140149

Title :   Empirical Investigation of Aids for Non-Programming Users in Developing Cost-Effective Requirements Specifications.

Descriptive Note : Technical rept. Jul 82-Oct 83,

Corporate Author : PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT ASSOCIATES INC VIENNA VA

Personal Author(s) : Connelly,E M

PDF Url : ADA140149

Report Date : Mar 1984

Pagination or Media Count : 105

Abstract : The difficulties of the non-programming user in developing quality software-requirements specifications are well known and described in the literature. Typically, the user will work with a software expert to develop the specifications. During this process the user must learn new terms and concepts, and must attempt to identify the required functions of the resulting software product. Further, the user must learn the relative cost of the various candidate features of the product. Finally, the user must communicate, verbally or in writing, the requirements specifications in clear, unambiguous language. The goal of this investigation was to evaluate the capability of nonprogramming users (in this case experienced inventory managers) to develop specifications for an inventory error-control system. Participants specified tests from a set of available tests to detect possible errors in inventory change-records, i.e., in inventory updates. Participants worked on problems at various levels of complexity. For each set of change-record tests specified, which defined a candidate design, the total system cost was automatically calculated and feed back to the participants. Participants attempted to specify the least-cost design. Coating aids were provided that were analogs of aids that are expected to be presently available. It was concluded that the ability of non-programming users to develop least-cost requirements specifications was poor when using any of the aids that were made available. The experimental results, however, suggested new approaches for procedural and computational support for the non-programming user, that could lead to more suitable costing aids.

Descriptors :   *COMPUTER PROGRAMS, *SYSTEMS ENGINEERING, *USER NEEDS, *REQUIREMENTS, *SPECIFICATIONS, COST EFFECTIVENESS, COST ANALYSIS, MANAGEMENT PLANNING AND CONTROL, EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN, HUMAN FACTORS ENGINEERING, MAN COMPUTER INTERFACE, PARTICIPATIVE MANAGEMENT

Subject Categories : Computer Programming and Software
      Human Factors Engineering & Man Machine System

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE