Having good tools and frameworks to manage politics on a project is very important to me. The process of managing project politics in order to obtain requirements and influence decisions might be the most critical part of managing requirements, but it is also the most difficult to solve. In fact, I even wrote a post on how to use a modified org chart to navigate project politics. That’s why I was delighted to see Neil and Alastair win Best Paper of RE’11 for their paper: “?Power and Politics in Requirements Engineering: A Proposed Research Agenda”. As I discussed in my previous posts on REFSQ, many of the problems facing business analysts and requirements practitioners have very little to do with not having enough modeling languages or formal notations. Neil and Alistair’s paper outline an agenda for discovering the structure of power and political relationships, as well as the decision-making processes that are so crucial for discovering and obtaining sign-off on requirements. It was pretty cool to see that Alastair and Neil’s approach examined some models (in iStar) which might be used to describe and manage these relationships and processes. In case you haven’t figured it out, Seilevel is pretty crazy about models that have practical usage in eliciting and documenting requirements. In fact, last year I blogged about using a modified org chart in order to model political relationships on projects. I look forward to how this area develops, and who knows, maybe I will even try to contribute!
This wraps up my coverage of RE’11 for now. So far, it’s probably been the most valuable conference I’ve attended in terms of content and exposure to ideas that could actually benefit me and my fellow colleagues. While I don’t consider myself a conference veteran just yet, everyone I’ve spoken with really had the impression that this RE could be instrumental in driving the agenda of future requirements conferences and research–and that’s a good thing! So thank you to the organizing committee for a great conference and thank you to the volunteers and people of Trento for the hospitality.
By the way, I really enjoy receiving the conference proceedings on a flashdrive. It’s much easier to find what I’m looking for, and a lot less hassle than hauling a book back across the pond!
See everyone next year in Chicago!