IRESS Model: A Contextual View on Requirements of Social Software

IRESS Model: A Contextual View on Requirements of Social Software

An instrument for planning social software projects

You have read a lot about the promise of the Social Media and you are thinking of using similar features for your company? Your media-savvy staff is actively asking for social software at their workplace? Time to identify your social software needs and implement a suitable solution for your company!

The IRESS Model allows a contextual view at the Social Software requirements of companies. IRESS stands for “Identification of Requirements for Enterprise Social Software (ESS)” and has been created for the development of social software solutions.

IRESS suggests taking a process-oriented approach at your business. Comparable to other models for business analysis (such as ARIS) application of the IRESS Model starts by drawing an overview of processes (process map) and organizational units (organizational chart) and identifying candidate areas (Use Cases) that contain a high concentration of C4-activities (communication, cooperation, content, coordination). The identified OUs and Business Processes are analysed and their Collaboration Scenarios are identified. Typical (generic) Collaboration Scenarios are project meetings, file sharing or general alerts and information exchange (posts).

Figure 1: IRESS Model: Identification of Requirements for Enterprise Social Software (ESS)

Collaboration Scenarios are then matched with collaborative software components that can support the C4-activities. The mapping can be supported by use of an existing mapping table i.e. a Collaborative Scenarios Catalogue (CSC). The catalogue contains a range of (generic) Collaboration Scenarios that frequently occur in companies. The CSC is the result of a longitudinal research process. Newly discovered Collaboration Scenarios are permanently added to the knowledge base.

Typical Collaboration Scenarios contained in the CSC are the following:

  • Project minutes and tasks
  • File Sharing
  • Information exchange (“push/subscription”)
  • Knowledge collection (e.g. handbook) (“pull/on-demand”)
  • Conference
  • Expert search
  • Joint authoring (synchronous/asynchronous)

Whilst collaboration scenarios are generic (a composition of software features), Use Cases are not. The Use Case describes the purpose for which the ECS is used in the company. Use Cases are company-specific and need to be defined. The Use Case demonstrates the business value that the users can derive from the application of collaboration software.


Figure 2: Use Cases consist of collaboration scenarios which make use of software components

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