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Illuminating Patterns of Perception: An Overview of Q Methodology

October 2004 Technical Note
Mary M. Brown

This 2004 technical note describes ways for applying Q methodology, a research method with a proven history for illuminating agreement and differences among individual and group perceptions, to assist software engineering processes.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-2004-TN-026

Abstract

Q methodology is a research method with a proven history for illuminating agreement and differences among individual and group perceptions. This technical note describes ways for applying Q methodology to assist software engineering processes. As a project management tool, it can help to articulate system requirements and project risk. It can also be used to identify many of the hidden risks and costs associated with system efforts. Q methodology complements a project manager's suite of methodologies and tools by providing a means for uncovering stakeholder perceptions of incorrectly specified requirements, looming risks, and hidden costs. In doing so, it provides stakeholders and project managers with additional insights for troubleshooting project threats.