Reducing the risk of requirements volatility

Findings from an empirical survey

Susan Ferreira, Dan Shunk, James Collofello, Gerald MacKulak, Amylou Dueck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Requirements volatility is a common development project risk that can have severe impacts. An empirical survey of over 300 software project managers and other software development personnel was performed to examine effects of various software development factors on requirements volatility. This paper reports the survey data results showing relationships between a number of software development process factors and requirements volatility. Key software project factors studied for their relationship with requirements volatility include process maturity level and various process techniques used for requirements engineering activities, such as requirements elicitation, prototyping, analysis and modeling, specification, and reviews. Significant correlations between the process factors and requirements volatility resulted from the analysis of some of the factors. The use of particular requirements engineering process techniques showed correlations with lower levels of requirements volatility. Other findings indicated that projects which used some types of prototypes to elicit requirements had higher levels of requirements volatility in later phases of the development cycle than lower levels, as one might expect. The presented results can be used by software development managers to proactively address and possibly mitigate the risk of requirements volatility, and to understand the potential for increased requirements volatility when certain methods are utilized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-393
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Software Maintenance and Evolution
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Fingerprint

Software engineering
Requirements engineering
Managers
Personnel
Specifications

Keywords

  • requirements engineering
  • requirements process
  • requirements risk
  • requirements volatility
  • software risk mitigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

Cite this

Reducing the risk of requirements volatility : Findings from an empirical survey. / Ferreira, Susan; Shunk, Dan; Collofello, James; MacKulak, Gerald; Dueck, Amylou.

In: Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution, Vol. 23, No. 5, 08.2011, p. 375-393.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ferreira, Susan ; Shunk, Dan ; Collofello, James ; MacKulak, Gerald ; Dueck, Amylou. / Reducing the risk of requirements volatility : Findings from an empirical survey. In: Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution. 2011 ; Vol. 23, No. 5. pp. 375-393.
@article{567b1f1f860b43fea7f09ed3118b0ed8,
title = "Reducing the risk of requirements volatility: Findings from an empirical survey",
abstract = "Requirements volatility is a common development project risk that can have severe impacts. An empirical survey of over 300 software project managers and other software development personnel was performed to examine effects of various software development factors on requirements volatility. This paper reports the survey data results showing relationships between a number of software development process factors and requirements volatility. Key software project factors studied for their relationship with requirements volatility include process maturity level and various process techniques used for requirements engineering activities, such as requirements elicitation, prototyping, analysis and modeling, specification, and reviews. Significant correlations between the process factors and requirements volatility resulted from the analysis of some of the factors. The use of particular requirements engineering process techniques showed correlations with lower levels of requirements volatility. Other findings indicated that projects which used some types of prototypes to elicit requirements had higher levels of requirements volatility in later phases of the development cycle than lower levels, as one might expect. The presented results can be used by software development managers to proactively address and possibly mitigate the risk of requirements volatility, and to understand the potential for increased requirements volatility when certain methods are utilized.",
keywords = "requirements engineering, requirements process, requirements risk, requirements volatility, software risk mitigation",
author = "Susan Ferreira and Dan Shunk and James Collofello and Gerald MacKulak and Amylou Dueck",
year = "2011",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1002/smr.515",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "23",
pages = "375--393",
journal = "Journal of software: Evolution and Process",
issn = "2047-7481",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Reducing the risk of requirements volatility

T2 - Findings from an empirical survey

AU - Ferreira, Susan

AU - Shunk, Dan

AU - Collofello, James

AU - MacKulak, Gerald

AU - Dueck, Amylou

PY - 2011/8

Y1 - 2011/8

N2 - Requirements volatility is a common development project risk that can have severe impacts. An empirical survey of over 300 software project managers and other software development personnel was performed to examine effects of various software development factors on requirements volatility. This paper reports the survey data results showing relationships between a number of software development process factors and requirements volatility. Key software project factors studied for their relationship with requirements volatility include process maturity level and various process techniques used for requirements engineering activities, such as requirements elicitation, prototyping, analysis and modeling, specification, and reviews. Significant correlations between the process factors and requirements volatility resulted from the analysis of some of the factors. The use of particular requirements engineering process techniques showed correlations with lower levels of requirements volatility. Other findings indicated that projects which used some types of prototypes to elicit requirements had higher levels of requirements volatility in later phases of the development cycle than lower levels, as one might expect. The presented results can be used by software development managers to proactively address and possibly mitigate the risk of requirements volatility, and to understand the potential for increased requirements volatility when certain methods are utilized.

AB - Requirements volatility is a common development project risk that can have severe impacts. An empirical survey of over 300 software project managers and other software development personnel was performed to examine effects of various software development factors on requirements volatility. This paper reports the survey data results showing relationships between a number of software development process factors and requirements volatility. Key software project factors studied for their relationship with requirements volatility include process maturity level and various process techniques used for requirements engineering activities, such as requirements elicitation, prototyping, analysis and modeling, specification, and reviews. Significant correlations between the process factors and requirements volatility resulted from the analysis of some of the factors. The use of particular requirements engineering process techniques showed correlations with lower levels of requirements volatility. Other findings indicated that projects which used some types of prototypes to elicit requirements had higher levels of requirements volatility in later phases of the development cycle than lower levels, as one might expect. The presented results can be used by software development managers to proactively address and possibly mitigate the risk of requirements volatility, and to understand the potential for increased requirements volatility when certain methods are utilized.

KW - requirements engineering

KW - requirements process

KW - requirements risk

KW - requirements volatility

KW - software risk mitigation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79960360558&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79960360558&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/smr.515

DO - 10.1002/smr.515

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 375

EP - 393

JO - Journal of software: Evolution and Process

JF - Journal of software: Evolution and Process

SN - 2047-7481

IS - 5

ER -