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How Artifacts Support and Impede Requirements Communication

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9013)

Abstract

[Context & motivation] Requirements artifacts, like specifications, diagrams, or user stories, are often used to support various activities related to requirements. How well an artifact can support a specific activity depends on the artifact’s nature. For example, a plain text document can be adequate to provide contextual information, but is not well suited in terms of documenting changes. [Questions / problem] We wanted to understand how practitioners in various roles use requirements artifacts, how they manage to work with multiple artifacts at a time, and whether they use current practices for linking related artifacts. [Principal ideas / results] We have conducted an interview study with 21 practitioners from 6 companies. The interviews indicate that often a variety of artifact types is needed to successfully conduct a project. At the same time, using multiple artifacts causes problems like manual translation effort and inconsistencies. Mapping mechanisms that explicitly relate different artifacts are needed. However, existing methods are often not used. We investigate why these methods challenge developers in practice. [Contribution] We show challenges and chances of requirements artifacts. Our findings are grounded on true experiences from the industry. These experiences can support software developers in planning and improving their processes with regard to better requirements communication and researchers in making mapping methods more applicable in industry.

Keywords

Requirements artifacts Requirements communication User stories 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz University HannoverHannoverGermany

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