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A Case Study on Artefact-based RE Improvement in Practice

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Talk given at the Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement held in Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

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A Case Study on Artefact-based RE Improvement in Practice

  1. 1. Technische Universität München A Case Study on 
 Artefact-based RE Improvement in Practice Joint work with Stefan Wagner, University of Stuttgart Daniel Méndez Technical University of Munich Germany PROFES 2015 Bozen-Bolzano, Italy @mendezfe
  2. 2. Notion of RE quality is eventually relative to its context! [RUP-derivate] Does this represent a good or a bad Requirements Engineering (RE)?
  3. 3. Notion of RE quality and its improvement Socio-economic context RE “Best Practice” Norm Goals,
 expectations, … 1. Solution orientation Assess/Benchmark RE reference modelAdopt RE improvement principles
  4. 4. Notion of RE quality and its improvement Socio-economic context RE “Best Practice” Norm Goals,
 expectations, … 1. Solution orientation 2. Problem orientation Serves as Orientation Steer RE reference model RE improvement principles
  5. 5. Notion of RE quality and its improvement Socio-economic context RE “Best Practice” Norm Goals,
 expectations, … 1. Solution orientation 2. Problem orientation Paradigms (simplified) Serves as Orientation Steer RE reference model RE improvement principles
  6. 6. Notion of RE quality and its improvement Socio-economic context RE “Best Practice” Norm Goals,
 expectations, … 1. Solution orientation 2. Problem orientation Paradigms (simplified) A A. Activity orientation B B. Artefact orientation Serves as Orientation Steer RE reference model RE improvement principles
  7. 7. Potential and limitations of problem-driven, artefact-based RE improvement still unknown Problem Problem-driven, artefact-based RE improvement Why? Goals,
 expectations, …Steer » Notion of RE quality is something relative to context » Reluctance against solution orientation in practice*
 „I am not convinced of the benefits of external standards.“ Why problem orientation Why artefact orientation » Allows to abstract from complex processes » Supports, e.g., flexibility and consistency in artefacts * http://re-survey.org
  8. 8. Artefact-based RE improvement approach • Blueprint of an artefact-b. and problem-driven RE improvement • Process realisation in EPF composer, templates, … Details on theapproach presentedat PROFES 2013 
& PROFES 2014
  9. 9. Artefact-based RE Improvement Process 
 engineers Comparative 
 evaluation 
 (against CMMI-based approaches) Art.-based
 RE Imp.
 Approach Evaluation of artefact-based RE improvement Study design overview • Case 1:Wacker Chemie • Case 2: SupplyOn AG (independent replication) Goals • Evaluate 
 problem-driven and artefact-based RE improvement 
 in industrial context compared to 
 solution-driven and activity-based approaches Approach: Case study research Research questions Project environment Artefact-based 
 RE Project participants Comparative 
 evaluation Legacy RE approach 1. How well are process engineers supported in their RE improvement tasks? 2. How well are project participants supported by the resulting RE reference model?
  10. 10. Study 1 Study 2 Study 1 Study 2 Case studies on artefact-based RE improvement Essence of rating RQ 1 Structured approach to RE improvement Context-specific RE impr. goals achieved The good: It worked RQ 2 (The actually interesting parts…) The bad: It worked, but only “somehow”… Research questions 1. How well are process engineers supported in their RE improvement tasks? 2. How well are project participants supported by the resulting RE reference model?
  11. 11. Case studies on artefact-based RE improvement Qualitative feedback from participants Process engineers (RQ 1) • Domain knowledge is essential for efficient improvement • Workshops fostered discussions engineers would otherwise not have • Need for fast improvement cycles (e.g. meetings every week) • Need for additional studies when many changes have been made • The success of a pilot study strongly depends on the quality of the tools • Coaching should focus on why things should be done, not how • Focus not only on artefacts, but also suggest methods and techniques • Not too many changes at once Project participants (RQ 2)
  12. 12. Limitations • Problem orientation at the cost of certification • Social factors never fully covered by models and approaches • Improvement effects beyond RE not objectively measurable • Relation between process quality and artefact quality not completely clear Success factors (selected) • Awareness of management for problems at project level • Willingness to participate and openness to change • Domain knowledge • Respect (and reflect) organisational culture • Skills (social skills, empirical skills) and openness for pragmatism Case studies on artefact-based RE improvement
  13. 13. Thank you! Daniel Méndez Daniel.Mendez@tum.de @mendezfe Further reading • Slides will be made available 
 (and probably tweeted) • Ask me if you need material (tools, instruments …) http://www4.in.tum.de/~mendezfe/openspace.shtml [PROFES 2013] [PROFES 2015]

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