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Authors: Méndez Fernández, Daniel
Wagner, Stefan
Lochmann, Klaus
Baumann, Andrea
Carne, Holger de
Title: Field study on requirements engineering: investigation of artefacts, project parameters, and execution strategies
Issue Date: 2012
Publication type: Zeitschriftenartikel
Published in : Information and software technology 54 (2012), S. 162-178. URL
Abstract: Context Requirements Engineering (RE) is a critical discipline mostly driven by uncertainty, since it is influenced by the customer domain or by the development process model used. Volatile project environments restrict the choice of methods and the decision about which artefacts to produce in RE. Objective We aim to investigate RE processes in successful project environments to discover characteristics and strategies that allow us to elaborate RE tailoring approaches in the future. Method We perform a field study on a set of projects at one company. First, we investigate by content analysis which RE artefacts were produced in each project and to what extent they were produced. Second, we perform qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews to discover project parameters that relate to the produced artefacts. Third, we use cluster analysis to infer artefact patterns and probable RE execution strategies, which are the responses to specific project parameters. Fourth, we investigate by statistical tests the effort spent in each strategy in relation to the effort spent in change requests to evaluate the efficiency of execution strategies. Results We identified three artefact patterns and corresponding execution strategies. Each strategy covers different project parameters that impact the creation of certain artefacts. The effort analysis shows that the strategies have no significant differences in their effort and efficiency. Conclusions In contrast to our initial assumption that an increased effort in requirements engineering lowers the probability of change requests or project failures in general, our results show no statistically significant difference between the efficiency of the strategies. In addition, it turned out that many parameters considered as the main causes for project failures can be successfully handled. Hence, practitioners can apply the artefact patterns and related project parameters to tailor the RE process according to individual project characteristics.
Appears in Collections:05 Fakultät Informatik, Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik

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