Kalle Lyytinen is a Professor of Information Systems at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and an adjunct professor at the University of Jyvaskyla. He currently develops courses and teaches advanced-degree students and executives on topics related to systems development, risk management and electronic and mobile commerce. He was educated at he University of Jyvaskyla, Finland where he has studied computer science, accounting, statistics, economics, theoretical philosophy and political theory. He has a bachelor's degree in computer science, and a masters and Ph.D. in economics (computer science). He speaks fluently in Finnish and Swedish as well as English.
Kalle is an active researcher and writer. He has published eight books, over fifty journal articles and over eighty conference presentations and book chapters. He is well known for his research in computer-supported system design and modeling, system failures and risk assessment, computer-supported cooperative work and the diffusion of complex technologies. He is currently researching the development and management of digital services and the evolution of virtual communities. Kalle is also active in the international information systems community. He has served in leadership positions for several academic organizations, conferences and journals. He also reviews research grants for the National Science Foundation, the Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Finnish and British Research Councils, and the European Union. He currently serves on the editorial boards of ten information system and organization theory journals.
A new look at an old problem: requirements determination and its challenges
The age old adage is that good software development process starts with a good requirements determination process which states the requirements for an application in a coherent, concise and unambiguous way. This process helps determine the scope of the initiative and control the outcomes. Most of the information in requirements is expected to be found from potential users using various elicitation and requirements discovery techniques like interviewing, modelling and so on. A recent field study in large and complex software development environments that covered automotive, aerospace, media, telecommunication, finance and health industries among 25 leading experts shows are dynamically different picture of software requirements process. Requirements complexity has risen to un unprecedented level and needs a new mindset, requirements do not cover applications but sets of capabilities or processes in an enterprise, requirements are always anchored into existing legacy of capabilities and they need to address the tensions between stability and change, requirements are driven from existing platforms and models,- not the other way round, systems have become so embedded in business processes that distinctions between functional and non-functional requirements are fictitous, requirements framing is radically different between innovative and incremental changes, requirements are negotiated within the scope of time, risk and scope, and requirements are not fixed but remain volatile for longer periods of time. We also observe, that contrary to academics belief, the challenge is not in the methods to find out and descrive systems, but to scale up and relate these models to the other elements in the environment. We discuss the challenges associated with these findings and suggest some future research avenues to address those challenges.