Empirical Software Engineering

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 2298–2338 | Cite as

Naming the pain in requirements engineering

Contemporary problems, causes, and effects in practice
  • D. Méndez Fernández
  • S. Wagner
  • M. Kalinowski
  • M. Felderer
  • P. Mafra
  • A. Vetrò
  • T. Conte
  • M.-T. Christiansson
  • D. Greer
  • C. Lassenius
  • T. Männistö
  • M. Nayabi
  • M. Oivo
  • B. Penzenstadler
  • D. Pfahl
  • R. Prikladnicki
  • G. Ruhe
  • A. Schekelmann
  • S. Sen
  • R. Spinola
  • A. Tuzcu
  • J. L. de la Vara
  • R. Wieringa
Article

Abstract

Requirements Engineering (RE) has received much attention in research and practice due to its importance to software project success. Its interdisciplinary nature, the dependency to the customer, and its inherent uncertainty still render the discipline difficult to investigate. This results in a lack of empirical data. These are necessary, however, to demonstrate which practically relevant RE problems exist and to what extent they matter. Motivated by this situation, we initiated the Naming the Pain in Requirements Engineering (NaPiRE) initiative which constitutes a globally distributed, bi-yearly replicated family of surveys on the status quo and problems in practical RE. In this article, we report on the qualitative analysis of data obtained from 228 companies working in 10 countries in various domains and we reveal which contemporary problems practitioners encounter. To this end, we analyse 21 problems derived from the literature with respect to their relevance and criticality in dependency to their context, and we complement this picture with a cause-effect analysis showing the causes and effects surrounding the most critical problems. Our results give us a better understanding of which problems exist and how they manifest themselves in practical environments. Thus, we provide a first step to ground contributions to RE on empirical observations which, until now, were dominated by conventional wisdom only.

Keywords

Requirements engineering Survey research 

Supplementary material

10664_2016_9451_MOESM1_ESM.docx (113 kb)
(DOCX 113 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Méndez Fernández
    • 1
  • S. Wagner
    • 2
  • M. Kalinowski
    • 3
  • M. Felderer
    • 4
  • P. Mafra
    • 3
  • A. Vetrò
    • 5
  • T. Conte
    • 6
  • M.-T. Christiansson
    • 7
  • D. Greer
    • 8
  • C. Lassenius
    • 9
  • T. Männistö
    • 10
  • M. Nayabi
    • 11
  • M. Oivo
    • 12
  • B. Penzenstadler
    • 13
  • D. Pfahl
    • 14
  • R. Prikladnicki
    • 15
  • G. Ruhe
    • 11
  • A. Schekelmann
    • 16
  • S. Sen
    • 17
  • R. Spinola
    • 18
    • 19
  • A. Tuzcu
    • 20
  • J. L. de la Vara
    • 21
  • R. Wieringa
    • 22
  1. 1.Technische Universität MünchenGarchingGermany
  2. 2.University of StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  3. 3.Universidade Federal FluminenseNiterói - RJBrazil
  4. 4.University of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  5. 5.Politecnico di TorinoTorinoItaly
  6. 6.Universidade Federal do AmazonasManaus - AMBrazil
  7. 7.Karlstads UniversitetKarlstadSweden
  8. 8.Queen’s University BelfastBelfastUK
  9. 9.Aalto UniversityEspooFinland
  10. 10.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  11. 11.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  12. 12.University of OuluOuluFinland
  13. 13.California State UniversityLong BeachUSA
  14. 14.University of TartuTartuEstonia
  15. 15.Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  16. 16.Hochschule NiederrheinKrefeldGermany
  17. 17.Simula Research LaboratoryFornebuNorway
  18. 18.Graduate Program in Systems and ComputerSalvador University - UNIFACS, SalvadorBahiaBrazil
  19. 19.Fraunhofer Project Center for Software and Systems EngineeringFederal University of Bahia (UFBA), SalvadorBahiaBrazil
  20. 20.zeb.rolfes.schierenbeck.associates GmbHMunichGermany
  21. 21.Carlos III University of MadridMadridSpain
  22. 22.University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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