An empirical study of process knowledge: coherence as a static process property

Authors

  • Carlton A. Crabtree,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Department of Information Systems, Baltimore, MD, USA
    • Correspondence to: Carlton A. Crabtree, Department of Information Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), 1000 Hilltop Circle, ITE Building, Suite 404, Baltimore, MD 21045, USA

      E-mail: cac1@umbc.edu

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  • Anthony F. Norcio,

    1. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Department of Information Systems, Baltimore, MD, USA
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  • Carolyn B. Seaman

    1. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Department of Information Systems, Baltimore, MD, USA
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ABSTRACT

This paper presents our research experiences studying process knowledge with qualitative and quantitative methods. Informed by related arguments, we present two hypotheses that are tested using a between subjects experimental design. The first hypothesis concerns the accuracy of software process elicitation, which we characterize as the human perception of error between description and performance of a process. The second hypothesis explores the detection of subtle differences in process articulation using latent semantic analysis, a computational technique for measuring patterns in written discourse. The results of our analyses are compared along with discussion of theoretical implications. We define a new type of process property, Coherence, which represents a measure of relatedness in process knowledge. Results also indicate that Coherence may be increased with the use of a conceptual model. Future research is guided by experimental and industrial application. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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