The most important strategic asset in an organisation is the knowledge its employees possesses. As a result, organisations are looking at various methods to retain and understand this knowledge in order to use as competitive advantage. Requirements elicitation is the process where problems that need to be solved, are uncovered. The information that is gathered needs to be analysed, interpreted, modelled and validated before it can be utilised for Information Systems (IS) development. The development of an IS requires access to knowledge, whether the knowledge comes in an explicit or tacit form. Explicit knowledge is knowledge that can be expressed in words or numbers and can be easily articulated. Tacit knowledge is rooted in an individual’s experience and has a personal quality; it is more difficult to articulate and communicate. The extraction of explicit knowledge can be made available with great ease, but there is some degree of tacit knowledge that cannot be encapsulated unequivocally and requires intervention to capture and apply knowledge. The implementation of an IS follows a System Development Life-cycle (SDLC) approach. One of the critical activities in this process is the elicitation of requirements from stakeholders in this interactive process. Elicitation of requirements includes gathering information from users, validating and capturing the information to develop a requirements specification that will be used to develop an IS. The purpose of this interpretive case study was to understand how knowledge can be captured effectively during requirements elicitation in the context of a high-reliability organisation (HRO). An HRO is an organisation that can perform optimally without accidents and have low safety rates over time. An analysis of requirements elicitation in the literature was produced and an online questionnaire was distributed to employees at a HRO in South Africa in order to collect data. Upon analysis of the findings, it was established that employees of this HRO has long tenure at the organisation and is willing to share knowledge. It was also observed that the standard system requirement process does not cater for knowledge capturing as employees at this HRO environment often act based on their own experiences and tacit knowledge rather than explicit knowledge. There is a need to improve on the requirements elicitation process by providing an opportunity for the capturing of this knowledge in the requirements. The document produced after the requirements elicitation, is the software requirements specification document and a recommendation is made that this artefact should cater for the capturing of knowledge.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2018.