Virtually Priceless Thoughts

Reflections on Health, Informatics, and Research

Healthcare IS Requirements – Engineering or Science?

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There is an excellent post I recently read to on How to Be a Good Product Manager on driving requirements not just gathering requirements. There is a good reflection on Usability Counts as well.


I’ve often thought that requirements don’t grow on trees. They are not there to be picked.

Requirements need to be engineered. They need to be designed.

That’s a very important aspect of requirements engineering, but, I’ve been thinking – in healthcare how much are we engineering requirements or how much of this is still a scientific endeavor?

Clifford Stoll gives a great talk on TED. He is even more tangential in his presentation than I am in my rambling here – and has much more energy on stage than I can ever hope for. It’s another great TED talk really not related to what I’m talking about now (which is appropriate, given – as I said – how tangential HE is). The only reason I am bringing him up in this post is for this quote:

“The first time you do something…it’s science.
The second time… it’s engineering.
The third time… it’s just being a technician.”

Are we at a stage in requirements Healthcare information systems where we are more science than engineering?

I don’t think we have a good, complete engineering model yet, certainly. But perhaps some aspects are more engineering than they are science?

Written by priceless

June 1st, 2008 at 9:03 am

Posted in Software

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