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An instrument for measuring the success of the requirements engineering process in information systems development


There exists a strong motivation for evaluating, understanding, and improving requirements engineering practices given that a successful requirements engineering process is necessary for a successful software system. Measuring requirements engineering success is central to evaluation, understanding, and improving these practices. In this paper, a research study whose objective was to develop an instrument to measure the success of the requirements engineering process is described. The domain of this study is developing customer-specific business information systems. The main result is a subjective instrument for measuring requirements engineering success. The instrument consists of 32 indicators that cover the two most important dimensions of requirements engineering success. These two dimensions were identified during the study to be: quality of requirements engineering products and quality of requirements engineering service. Evidence is presented demonstrating that the instrument has desirable psychometric properties, such as high reliability and good validity.

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This paper is a longer and more detailed version of the study reported in El Emam and Madhavji (1995).

This work was supported in part by the IT Macroscope Project and NSERC Canada.

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El Emam, K., Madhavji, N.H. An instrument for measuring the success of the requirements engineering process in information systems development. Empirical Software Engineering 1, 201–240 (1996).

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  • requirements engineering process
  • requirements engineering success
  • reliability
  • validity
  • software process measurement