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Authors: Wagner, Stefan
Méndez Fernández, Daniel
Felderer, Michael
Vetrò, Antonio
Kalinowski, Marcos
Wieringa, Roel
Pfahl, Dietmar
Conte, Tayana
Christiansson, Marie-Therese
Greer, Desmond
Lassenius, Casper
Männistö, Tomi
Nayebi, Maleknaz
Oivo, Markku
Penzenstadler, Birgit
Prikladnicki, Rafael
Ruhe, Guenther
Schekelmann, André
Sen, Sagar
Spínola, Rodrigo
Tuzcu, Ahmed
Vara, Jose Luis de la
Winkler, Dieter
Title: Status quo in requirements engineering: a theory and a global family of surveys
Issue Date: 2019 Zeitschriftenartikel ACM transactions on software engineering and methodology 28 (2019), no. 9
ISSN: 1557-7392
1049-331X © 2019 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology,
Abstract: Requirements Engineering (RE) has established itself as a software engineering discipline over the past decades. While researchers have been investigating the RE discipline with a plethora of empirical studies, attempts to systematically derive an empirical theory in context of the RE discipline have just recently been started. However, such a theory is needed if we are to define and motivate guidance in performing high quality RE research and practice. We aim at providing an empirical and externally valid foundation for a theory of RE practice, which helps software engineers establish effective and efficient RE processes in a problem-driven manner. We designed a survey instrument and an engineer-focused theory that was first piloted in Germany and, after making substantial modifications, has now been replicated in 10 countries worldwide. We have a theory in the form of a set of propositions inferred from our experiences and available studies, as well as the results from our pilot study in Germany. We evaluate the propositions with bootstrapped confidence intervals and derive potential explanations for the propositions. In this article, we report on the design of the family of surveys, its underlying theory, and the full results obtained from the replication studies conducted in 10 countries with participants from 228 organisations. Our results represent a substantial step forward towards developing an empirical theory of RE practice. The results reveal, for example, that there are no strong differences between organisations in different countries and regions, that interviews, facilitated meetings and prototyping are the most used elicitation techniques, that requirements are often documented textually, that traces between requirements and code or design documents are common, that requirements specifications themselves are rarely changed and that requirements engineering (process) improvement endeavours are mostly internally driven. Our study establishes a theory that can be used as starting point for many further studies for more detailed investigations. Practitioners can use the results as theory-supported guidance on selecting suitable RE methods and techniques.
Appears in Collections:05 Fakultät Informatik, Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik

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