Requirements Elicitation for the Development and Implementation of a B2B Mobile App. Writing A Consultant Bid Report


Submitted Assignment, 2018

37 Pages, Grade: 80


Excerpt


Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION
1.1. Study Objectives
1.2. Methodology

2. SUPPORTING EVIDENCES
2.1. Objective 1: Functional Requirements
2.1.1. Market and Stakeholder Analysis
2.1.2. Software evaluation
2.1.3. Security Requirements analysis
2.2. Objective 2: Structural Requirements
2.2.1. System Environmental Analysis
2.2.2. Personnel Analysis
2.2.3. Risk Identification and Analysis
2.3. Objective 3: Resource Requirements
2.3.1. Project Time Planning
2.3.2. Life Cycle Cost Analysis

3. STUDY GANTT CHART

4. CONTRIBUTIONS
4.1. Objective 1: Functional Requirements
4.1.1. Market and Stakeholder Analysis
4.1.2. Software Evaluation
4.1.3. Security Requirements analysis
4.2. Objective 2: Structural Requirements
4.2.1. System Environmental Analysis
4.2.2. Personnel Analysis
4.2.3. Risk Identification and Analysis
4.3. Objective 3: Resource Requirements
4.3.1. Project Time Planning
4.3.2. Life-Cycle Cost Analysis

5. CONCLUSION

6. REFERENCES

SUMMARY

As the technology develops, companies are adopting emerging technologies in their business model. Mobile Business-to Business (B2B) application is currently an innovative technology that fosters business-customer interactions. However, the Choice of business-to-business (B2B) commerce requires highly customized applications developed for specific needs, offering highly specialized, service-oriented and solution-based software components, systems, and digital tools, aiming for a fast and accurate decision support system. This forces organization willing to implement mobile application as part of its project, to start with a careful requirement elicitation process which helps to determine necessities and serve as basis for strategic decisions.

One of the companies that has discovered the importance of implementing a B2B mobile app in their operations is the company X, an SME in the food industry that supplies food products to catering companies.

This document is a report bid proposal for conducting a scoping study that determines the necessary requirements for development and implementation of a B2B mobile application for the client, company X. The report focuses on different things that the client should consider before investing resources into the project, helps the company to make the necessary preparations and serves as a strategic decision making tool. The approach presented are techniques and methods approved by industry experts as well as case study-based experiences. The bid introduces the appropriate methods to investigate the suitable functionalities of the B2B application (Functional requirements), conditions necessary for the adequacy of the implementation of the application in the structural conditions of the company X (Structural requirements) and the resources requirements for the project. While the study will be conducted within six (6) months, a Gantt chart is used to indicate which activities should be performed; as well as where and when, in order to complete the study efficiently and effectively. Lastly, the contribution section acknowledges the benefits of the methods/techniques chosen, their relevance to the project and the reasons why they were adopted in the study.

Key Words: Requirements elicitation techniques, B2B application, software engineering, requirements engineering process, mobile app features and functionality.

1. INTRODUCTION

In recent decades, there has been a rapid growth and development of information and communication technologies, especially the web 2.0 interactive technologies that dramatically influenced how people communicate (Okello, 2015). Since the introduction of mobile smartphone in 2004, there has been revolution of information flow especially in terms of business. Since then, smartphones and mobile applications outnumbered laptops and desktops (Yoni, 2016). While there has been growing possession and use of internet-capable devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. on different workplaces (OECD, 2004, Dahlstrom et al., 2015; Daniel, 2016); technology has changed business conditions, customer behavior and market opportunities by allowing connectivity and electronic collaboration between businesses and their customers. For example, the study conducted in 2017 indicated that people spend, on average, 2 hours per day using their phones, compared to 97 minutes they spend with their friends and families (Kapil, 2017). This allowed people to become familiar with different mobile software which became easier to use and cheaper (Green and Hannon, 2007). These increasingly popular innovations are continually forcing companies of all sizes to re-evaluate their priorities and rethink the use of technology to engage their audiences through the so-called Business-to-business applications (B2B) (Kuhr, 2017). Today that users spend more and more time on mobile applications (Alin, 2015), B2B applications are becoming important business tools that drive customer relationship management where the most successful companies are taking advantages of mobile applications to reach different business goals (Kapil, 2017; Chris, 2016).

The potential implication today is “If you are not able to reach your audience through mobile or you are not providing a satisfactory mobile experience, you will miss out on your customers.”

The current client, company X, is a SME in food sector that provides food products to catering companies. Being aware of these trends, the client is looking for a consultant to undertake a scoping study to determine the necessary requirements for developing a mobile B2B app. This application is believed to promote company visibility, create a Direct Marketing Channel, Provide Value to the company Customers, Build Brand and Recognition, Improve Customer Engagement, and help the company to stand out from the Competition and Cultivate Customer Loyalty (Dan, 2017; Rose, 2017). However, in order to succeed, experts advise that implementers should carefully identify and clearly define relevant requirements beforehand (Olga, 2018).

Like Veronica et al. (2014), the development and integration of software applications in enterprises requires the prior identification and careful analysis of different functional and non-functional requirements. Since our client wants to conduct a study that examines these requirements, the purpose of this paper is to suggest to our client, based on their project objectives, appropriate methods for studying these requirements using appropriate and approved methods that comprehensively map evidences across a range of industrial studies designed to inform future research practice, programs and policy.

1.1. Study Objectives

As highlighted above this study project regards the identification of the necessary requirements for the development of a mobile B2B application. Keeping in mind that the study methodologies build on one another, as discussed above, three types of necessities will be studied:

Objective 1: Identification of the functional requirements of the mobile B2B application in the food market for catering companies. This will be done through market and stakeholder analysis and software benchmarking as well as the security requirements analysis.

Objective 2: Identification of the structural requirements for the programming and implementation of the application in the current structure and capabilities of the company, by conducting a system environmental analysis, personnel analysis and risk identification and analysis.

Objective 3: Identify the resource requirements that the client needs to raise for the programming, implementation and operation of the mobile B2B application, which will be achieved through project time planning and Life-Cycle Cost Analysis.

1.2. Methodology

While the failure or success of most software depends on the quality of requirements gathered, the quality of requirements also depends on the techniques that were used to gather those requirements (Goel & Kulkarni, 2017). According to Fahad (2016), the availability of internal and partners data is one of the key success points for the growth of the B2B environment. Knowing that in software development there are both requirements elicitation and requirements engineering (Dolly & Khanum, 2016), the study will use industry-based studies and case studies to understand different project necessities. Since the requirements elicitation is regarded as the most important step in shaping software engineering (Hickey & Davis, 2004; Gunda, 2008; Rafiq et al. ,2017; Lent, 2018), the study will focus on the requirement elicitation approach where different mobile B2B App users, customers, and stakeholders will be approached as advised by Dolly & Khanum (2016). While the study will critically analyze and justify methodologies used, an organization wide assessment tour is believed to provide relevant information required for the development and content of the app. It is believed that by attempting to properly identify these requirements, they will improve their quality and, ultimately, the quality of the final software application.

2. SUPPORTING EVIDENCES

This section discusses the context as well as the individual processes corresponding to the approaches chosen for the study of all the requirements necessary for the client's project. Since different established techniques will be used to gather information such as interviews, prototyping and brainstorming as well as recommended less common techniques such as market analysis, team discussion and the use of model users (Rafiq et al., 2017); the consultant must maintain constant communication with the client throughout a requirements elicitation process so that any change in the client's requirements can be integrated as soon as it has been identified to make the study more appropriate.

This is inspired by the experience of Rafiq et al. (2017) who indicated that requirements elicitation is an ongoing process where many changes occur during and after the requirements identification process, hence communication with the business executives is strongly recommended.

2.1. Objective 1: Functional Requirements

As early mentioned, mobile has become a new frontier in the current dynamic and complex business environment where technology continues to shrive. Because mobile devices are used on a move, all businesses, either big or small will eventually need to develop a mobile app to allow customers to reach them from wherever they are (Ali, 2013).

Oinas-Kukkonen et al (2013) distinguish two types of mobile applications: “highly goal-driven and entertainment-focused”. According to them, the difference lies in their features and functionalities, which vary depending on the app purposes. What’s more challenging on today’s marketplace is developing an application that adds value to your business.

Recognizing that mobile B2B applications face market acceptance problems due to lack of user-focus and relevance (Sadler, 2005), to succeed on marketplace, mobile B2B applications are best examined their functioning and the value they provide to their users.

This study, which analyzes the functional requirements of the B2B application, will advise on the functional direction of the application and present important value creating characteristics that correspond to purchasing strategies and business-customer relationships. More specifically the study will examine mobile application platform, usability and security.

2.1.1. Market and Stakeholder Analysis

A. Market Analysis

For the success of the B2B application, it is very crucial to conduct a market analysis based on the app’s objectives, in order to make better decisions (Sadler, 2005). An in-depth knowledge of the target market and the characteristics of the customers is essential to decide on the design of the application and the appropriate functionalities adapted to the market. Understanding market needs will help app designers to develop a unique marketing plan and features.

Market research helps to understand the needs, expectations, or preferences of customers, which is essential for determining the integration pathways of an application. If business application designers are unable to understand users in their practices, the mobile application fails to represent this knowledge in the design process and, as a result, the likelihood of acceptance decreases (Robertson, 2005). This is why in order apply user-centric approaches to IT system design, it is strongly advised to carefully research the market and understand its target customers profile.

Market analysis provides an idea of ​​the available operating systems and hardware that can support the application, determine the affordability or willingness and ability of customers to use a mobile application. In this regard, the study will indicate the potential users of the application and their characteristics in order to determine whether the app will run from existing devices or new device, the required user friendly features, the level of transactions that can be made via the application, the aspect of the application to which the public will be authorized to access or be restricted, etc.

Additionally, the market analysis is important to describe project stakeholders and present comparative advantages in order for the company X to launch a successful initiative.

B. Stakeholder analysis

Part of the market assessment focuses particularly on stakeholder analysis, an essential process of requirements elicitation which recognizes that organizations work in complex social landscape where many social actors can influence their work (Eversole, 2018). While on the general sense, stakeholder is any organization / individuals that have a stake or can affect or be affected by a business (Ryan, 2014), in software engineering stakeholders are individuals, groups or organizations that can influence or be influenced by either the development or the use of an application system whether directly or indirectly (Sharp et al. 1999, Chibesakunda, 2015). This practical tool helps to identify potential stakeholders and define their specific needs and expectations for the intended software in order to work effectively with them.

Stakeholder analysis starts with the identification of potential stakeholders, their characteristics and assess their degree of influence so as to develop a strategy to manage and/or engage them. This stakeholder identification provides detailed understanding of the social context and organizational outcomes, hence Eversole (2018) advises to involve clients with extended knowledge about the internal and external proceedings. According to Sharp et al. (1999), this step focuses on the baseline stakeholder which maps both internal and external users, legislators, developers as well as decision makers, the software lifecycle taken into account.

In order to ensure comprehensive involvement of relevant stakeholders and to understand their requirements from the start, it is important to communicate with stakeholders through individual discussions or structured meetings. While not all stakeholders are equally important to the software project, it is advisable to make prioritization and produce a stakeholder matrix that shows their priorities, objectives and contributions.

2.1.2. Software Benchmark Testing

While there are different business applications on market, developed for smartphones and compatible with different operating systems, these applications provide different user-experience that is linked to customer satisfaction (Pizzutillo, 2015). Mobile phones like other pervasive devices also suffer from resource shortages and in this regards Rwassizadeh (2017) advises businesses to carry out a software benchmarking exercise when developing their business applications and before engaging in e-commerce market.

Benchmarking Software Development is the process of collection and comparing data from multiple sources to determine if teams are working as efficiently as possible. In our case, the process examines whether there are existing practices in the market which match our stakeholder objectives.

By comparing the company’s operations with equivalent in the industry leaders, the process helps to identify important information for operations improvement, hence it can be seen as a competitive analysis which not only explores best practices but also consult software companies to explore most accurate engaging features. This helps to set the functional requirements of the client on the level that enables him to gain competitive advantages against rivals on both the quality and technology.

As long as the competitors and software companies are concerned, the process starts by needs assessment, Industry/Domain Classification, Collection of qualitative data from acknowledgeable market databases, special software benchmarking reports or from software manufacturers in relevant industry. Once data is collected, the information is normalized and purified. The analysis should compare identified stakeholder objectives with benchmark elaborated in order to set final requirements that the mobile B2B application should fulfil in order to acquire competitive advantages on the market. Finally, the benchmark report should highlight improvement recommendations (Pizzutillo, 2015).

2.1.3. Security Requirements analysis

As mobile applications become a central part of how businesses operate, security is critical to the development of mobile applications (Lent, 2018). The security requirements for enterprise applications are the same as those for mobile applications because people outside the organization routinely take sensitive data. Not only does this mobile tend not to be secure or lost, but people also exchange information on an insecure network, which requires finding requirements to determine how to protect the data.

Pizzutilo (2015) highlighted the difficulty of protecting data on a device that does not belong to an organization, but Lent (2018) emphasizes its importance and requirements. It is therefore essential to consider these constraints by limiting the visibility of personal data while maintaining the visibility of the company's data in order to prevent any loss of data.

The study will therefore present important security requirements for authentication and authorization, offline data allocation, file system protection, hardware and network options and resources.

As advised by software experts ( Jeon, Rhee & Won, 2012; Schurr, 2018), the consultant will use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) to capture the main characteristics of vulnerabilities and risks related to mobile applications, define the severity, prioritize the elements to be corrected and propose vulnerability management processes.

2.2. Objective 2: Structural Requirements

This part shows how the study will explore the structural requirements that the Company X will have to fulfill to develop and manage a successful mobile B2B application in today's complex environment.

It focuses on identifying the IT skills required of company personnel and any other ability to control risks or deviations by itself or with the help of external stakeholders.

[...]

Excerpt out of 37 pages

Details

Title
Requirements Elicitation for the Development and Implementation of a B2B Mobile App. Writing A Consultant Bid Report
College
University of South Wales  (Business School)
Grade
80
Author
Year
2018
Pages
37
Catalog Number
V1008017
ISBN (eBook)
9783346399090
ISBN (Book)
9783346399106
Language
English
Keywords
Requirements elicitation techniques, B2B application, software engineering, requirements engineering process, mobile app features and functionality., Management Project Report, Consultant Bid Proposal
Quote paper
Sixbert SANGWA (Author), 2018, Requirements Elicitation for the Development and Implementation of a B2B Mobile App. Writing A Consultant Bid Report, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1008017

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Look inside the ebook
Title: Requirements Elicitation for the Development and Implementation of a B2B Mobile App. Writing A Consultant Bid Report



Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free