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Conclusions and Further Work

These results indicate that, in most cases, the claimed processes exist in only a superficial form, guiding the broad structure of the process but not being "owned" by individual developers. Therefore, they often fail to provide guidance for the details of the development approaches. Clients enter agreements with developers on the basis that these processes are used by the developers—and the developers could earnestly be meaning to use these processes, although they are obscured by the lack of formal requirements and specification-elicitation methods in place.

The marketing documentation used by a developer should support and inform clients of the actual processes employed rather than allude to a greater adherence to processes than is employed in actual development. The analysis of data certainly recognizes that in some areas, the developers retained more information in-house. Overall, however, the requirements, processes, and usability testing areas must be more finely developed to create a better product. The developmental characteristics, client uncertainty, rapidly evolving client needs, short delivery time frames, and fine-grained evolution and maintenance lead to the use of application-development processes such as XP and OPEN. Client uncertainty, volatility of needs, and the developers' understanding of systems domain, in particular, direct the development process into an initial exploration of the problem before effective specification and scoping can occur. As a result, developers use partial solutions to clarify potential systems with clients. This process might be referred to as design-driven requirements.

Further research, called "Design-Driven Requirements for Internet-Enabled System Development," is being undertaken. This research looks into the nature of Web system development, which is significantly different from the development of conventional software and IT systems. This will develop an uncertainty model that is relevant to the development of Internet-enabled systems. Then it will adapt the requirements-management process to accommodate this model and develop tool support for this adapted process. These outcomes will facilitate the development of systems that more accurately reflect clients' needs and that result in reduced development and maintenance costs.

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