We welcome a few groups of master students at ITU who would like to contribute your master thesis on software architecture. Topic of interested includes but not limited to:
In cooperation with Jacob Winther, Microsoft Dynamics
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are computerized business systems to support organiza-tions working efficiently. These systems deal with financial data, production planning, warehouse operations, etc. and are helping companies operating in a cost-effective and agile manner. Creating and implementing a well-functioning ERP system in a company requires people with knowledge of how to run a business to work with intensively with people that knows technology. The collaboration between these two groups of people is often difficult, and there is little support available for them to communicate effectively, which means ERP projects tend to run over time and budget. What can be done to improve the collaboration between the two viewpoints? Can one of the two groups be considered more important than the other? What technology is available to support them collaborating on ERP projects?
Contact: Yvonne Dittrich
In cooperation with Hans Have, Microsoft Dynamics
Identifying and prioritizing functional features for future versions of software products is a crucial task for a development team in any given software industry. Without the right kind of information to support their strategic decisions and resource allocations development teams are often left shooting blind in terms of what the user expects the software to accomplish. This frequently results in “feature creep” where the team sets out to satisfy all of the user’s needs at once, but actually ends up with a feature set that is spread thin across the board due to resource constraints. At the same time it is often seen that the functionality the final product actually delivers does not meet the expectations because of a change in user requirements or due to a bad interpretation of what user tasks the software should support. The above is especially true within the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) space where one application has to be used by multiple people with a wide range of specific roles. An ERP implementation is also a long and cumbersome process for businesses that resides in highly dynamic markets with shifting needs and opportunities.
Due to economic and geographic constraints there is often little or no resources allocated by ERP consultants to conduct true ethnographic research in order to understand the basic needs of the users, so feature identification and prioritization is often based on a few “quick and dirty” meetings between an ERP consultant and some core-users. The output of these meetings is often a long list of features that is very hard to contextualize and prioritize for the development team that will create the ERP solution.
Can participatory design processes and methods somehow support a better outcome of these “quick and dirty” requirement gathering meetings? How can ERP consultants better come to a quick understanding of how the users roles should impact the feature prioritization? What role can technology play in tracking and relaying information between stakeholders (users, consultants, developers) during and after the requirement gathering phase?
Contact: Yvonne Dittrich