From Ideas to Expressed Needs: an Empirical Study on the Evolution of Requirements during Elicitation
Requirements are elicited from the customer and other stakeholders through an iterative process of interviews, prototyping, and other interactive sessions. Many communication phenomena may emerge in these early iterations, that lead initial ideas to be transformed, renegotiated, or reframed. Understanding how this process takes place can help in solving possible communication issues as well as their consequences.
In this work, we perform an exploratory study of descriptive nature to understand in which way requirements get transformed from initial ideas into documented needs. To this end, we select 30 subjects that act as requirements analysts, and we perform a set of elicitation sessions with a fictional customer. The customer is required to study a sample requirements document for a system beforehand and to answer the questions of the analysts about the system. After the elicitation sessions, the analysts produce user stories for the system. These are compared with the original ones by two researchers to assess to which extent and in which way the initial requirements evolved throughout the interactive sessions. Our results show that between 30% and 38% of the produced user stories include content that can be fully traced to the initial ones, while the rest of the content is dedicated to new requirements. We also show what types of requirements are introduced through the elicitation process, and how they vary depending on the analyst. Our work contributes to theory in requirements engineering, with empirically grounded, quantitative data, concerning the impact of elicitation activities with respect to initial ideas.
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09:30 - 10:30
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|From Ideas to Expressed Needs: an Empirical Study on the Evolution of Requirements during ElicitationResearch Paper|