David W. Bustard
School of Computing and Information Engineering, University of Ulster
Coleraine, BT52 1SA, Northern Ireland
When considering ways of improving requirements engineering, or indeed any aspect of software development, it is often possible to build on relevant experience in other disciplines. In particular, in relation to the human side of reaching agreement on requirements, Principled Negotiation seems to offer a good framework for the process involved. This paper summarises the main concepts of Principled Negotiation and reports on an experience of its use over several years in helping Environmental Health Departments in Northern Ireland introduce IT systems. The relationship between Principled Negotiation and Soft Systems Methodology, a general problem solving strategy built on systems thinking concepts, is also considered briefly.