Modeling functional requirements using tacit knowledge: a design science research methodology informed approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


The research in this paper adds to the discussion linked to the challenge of capturing and modeling tacit knowledge throughout software development projects. The issue emerged when modeling functional requirements during a project for a client. However, using the design science research methodology at a particular point in the project helped to create an artifact, a functional requirements modeling technique, that resolved the issue with tacit knowledge. Accordingly, this paper includes research based upon the stages of the design science research methodology to design and test the artifact in an observable situation, empirically grounding the research undertaken. An integral component of the design science research methodology, the knowledge base, assimilated structuration and semiotic theories so that other researchers can test the validity of the artifact created. First, structuration theory helped to identify how tacit knowledge is communicated and can be understood when modeling functional requirements for new software. Second, structuration theory prescribed the application of semiotics which facilitated the development of the artifact. Additionally, following the stages of the design science research methodology and associated tasks allows the research to be reproduced in other software development contexts. As a positive outcome, using the functional requirements modeling technique created, specifically for obtaining tacit knowledge on the software development project, indicates that using such knowledge increases the likelihood of deploying software successfully.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25–42
Number of pages18
JournalRequirements Engineering Journal
Early online date21 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Design science research methodology
  • Functional requirements modeling
  • Semiotics
  • Structuration
  • Tacit knowledge

Cite this