Distributed Cognition in the Management of Design Requirements

Authors Sean Hansen, Kalle Lyytinen

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Sean Hansen
Kalle Lyytinen

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Sean Hansen and Kalle Lyytinen. Distributed Cognition in the Management of Design Requirements. In Perspectives Workshop: Science of Design: High-Impact Requirements for Software-Intensive Systems. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 8412, pp. 1-10, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2009)


In this position statement, we outline a new theoretical framework of the distribution of design requirements processes. Building upon the Theory of Distributed Cognition, we characterize contemporary requirements efforts as distributed cognitive systems in which elements of a design vision are distributed socially, structurally, and temporally. We discuss the various forms of distribution observed in real-world systems development projects and the processes by which representational states are propagated through the system. We conclude with a brief discussion of the implications of the framework for requirements research and practice.
  • Distributed cognition
  • distributed requirements
  • COTS software
  • IT architecture


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