Views on Quality Requirements in Academia and Practice: Commonalities, Differences, and Context-Dependent Grey Areas
Context: Quality requirements (QRs) are a topic of constant discussions both in industry and academia. Debates entwine around the definition of quality requirements, the way how to handle them, or their importance for project success. While many academic endeavors contribute to the body of knowledge about QRs, practitioners may have different views. In fact, we still lack a consistent body of knowledge on QRs since much of the discussion around this topic is still dominated by observations that are strongly context-dependent. This holds for both academic and practitioners’ views. Our assumption is that, in consequence, those views may differ.
Objective: We report on a study to better understand the extent to which available research statements on quality requirements, as found in exemplary peer-reviewed and frequently cited publications, are reflected in the perception of practitioners. Our goal is to analyze differences, commonalities, and context-dependent grey areas in the views of academics and practitioners to allow a discussion on potential misconceptions (on either sides) and opportunities for future research.
Method: We conducted a survey with 109 practitioners to assess whether they agree with research statements about QRs reflected in the literature. Based on a statistical model, we evaluate the impact of a set of context factors to the perception of research statements.
Results: Our results show that a majority of the statements is well respected by practitioners; however, not all of them. When examining the different groups and backgrounds of respondents, we noticed interesting deviations of perceptions within different groups that may lead to new research questions.
Conclusions: Our results help identifying prevalent context-dependent differences about how academics and practitioners view QRs and pinpointing statements where further research might be useful.