Event: Power and Politics in Requirements Engineering


Thursday 14 June 2012, 6pm-8:30pm


BCS headquarter, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA


Free, but compulsory.

Register at the BCS Event Booking Site via this link.

Closing date for bookings is midnight on Wednesday 13th June 2012. No more bookings will be taken after this date. For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.


RESG Free Evening Event with Refreshments.

At the latest International Conference on Requirements Engineering in Trento last September, Alastair Milne and Neil Maiden presented a “call to arms” for greater consideration of power and politics during requirements engineering. This paper won the best paper award at the conference. This event is an opportunity for those who couldn’t attend the conference to hear about this work from the horse’s mouth and to discuss the points that it raises.

What are your strategies for dealing with power and politics during requirements engineering? Do you view them as a nuisance to good requirements development, or as a force to exploit to set requirements on the right course?


  • 18.00 Refreshments
  • 18.30 Talk and Discussions
  • 19.30 Drinks and Sandwiches


Title: Power and Politics in Requirements Engineering

Abstract: The talk is inspired by my experience in developing information systems, where power and politics tended to be viewed as irritants that were either dealt with grudgingly, or ignored altogether. I became convinced that, with sociotechnical systems becoming more complex, uncertain and organisationally embedded, power and politics needed to be not just understood, but also incorporated into the RE process. In joint work with Neil Maiden, we have explored the concepts of power and politics, and proposed a framework in which they can be modelled within the context of RE.

Bio: Alastair Milne is currently Publisher of the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine. Starting his career as a researcher in economic history, he moved into IT development and later project management, working in sectors as diverse as the NHS, advertising and the BBC, before ending up in publishing.


The talk will be followed by a discussion panel with Alastair Milne, Ian Alexander, and Steve Orr.

Ian Alexander is a Systems Engineer specialising in Requirements. He has co-authored several books on requirements engineering, including Writing Better Requirements (Addison-Wesley, 2002), Scenarios, Stories, Use Cases (Wiley, 2004), and Discovering Requirements (Wiley, 2009). He is known for his work on Stakeholders including the ‘Onion Model’ (IJTHI, 2005).

Steve Orr’’s early career was primarily technical including automated cartography and network switching systems. An early adopter of techniques such as entity and process modelling, he was subsequently recruited as a Business Analyst in the financial sector creating wholesale and retail banking systems. He left the finance world for two years to work a lecturer with the then leading player in business analysis and project management training. Returning to the City as a data administrator he was subsequently headhunted for a strategic role with a major money broker seeking to achieve innovative use of technology. Leaving permanent employment to become a consultant and trainer he engaged in major business analysis initiatives for the private sector and for European government institutions. A subsequent freelance role in the business analysis department of CRM specialist Chordiant led to a full time Directorship in their California office. Leaving Chordiant, he founded Capiro, a consultancy that specialises in requirements. Developing Capiro is now the primary focus of his attention.

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