La partecipazione degli utenti ai progetti

Erica L. Wagner and Gabriele Piccoli:”Moving Beyond User Participation to Achieve Successful IS Design” in Communications of the ACM, december 2007

L’articolo mette in luce con estrema chiarezza uno dei nodi principali dello sviluppo software.

“We suggest that rather than fighting human nature by trying to force the participation of user groups throughout a project, we should broaden our thinking about development and implementation methodologies to reflect what happens in practice. We find that in practice user participation can be most powerful after ‘go live’ when users are truly engaged.

[…] we acknowledge it will be difficult to fully engage users before the software begins to affect their daily lives, which are generally at ‘go live.’ Yet, we are not suggesting there is no value in user involvement via prototyping or phased roll-out techniques. When properly implemented, these techniques can help increase communication, provide some valuable feedback in the design process, and generally improve goodwill on the user side. But it is critical to recognize that trying to force engagement of user groups throughout a project goes against human nature. We should therefore expand our thinking about the stages of the systems development life cycle, and incorporate this broadened perspective into whichever methodology is used.
We need to recognize that implementation extends beyond “flipping the switch.” Legitimizing the post-implementation activities that are often kept as a shameful secret — a sign of project failure — will help to manage expectations and avoid much of the conflict that erodes trust between the user community, project champions, and the development team by more naturally mimicking human behavior.

[…] It is time to speak honestly about the gap between our intentions to build working systems and our ability to do so in practice. This gap is typically not caused by a lack of effort on behalf of developers or users, but rather is the result of misdirected efforts. The systems development and implementation process will continue to be overly challenging if we work against the tide by trying to make users fit our theories of how and when they should participate in development initiatives.”

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