A Method for Assessing Requirements Engineering Process Maturity in Software Projects

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för programvaruteknik och datavetenskap; Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för programvaruteknik och datavetenskap

Abstract: The area of Requirements Engineering is often underestimated in value in the area of Software Engineering. According to certain sources the failure rate of IT investments is over 60%. In addition problems introduced through the Requirements Engineering of a project accounts for something like 50% of the total debugging costs. The main reason for this is a low level of maturity pertaining to the Requirements Engineering process. This thesis introduces a model that can help organizations improve their Requirements Engineering process. A first step in process improvement is process evaluation. The REPM model has the purpose of measuring the maturity level of the Requirements Engineering process in projects, and to give a basis for what steps to take in order to improve on it. In addition to the model a method for using the model is introduced. The model and method are subsequently designed, implemented and validated. The validation takes the form of interviews and case-studies in industry featuring four companies and four projects of varying size. The project evaluations were conducted on-site in both Sweden and in Ireland. It is shown that the REPM model in combination with the method is a good way to evaluate the Requirement Engineering process of a project. It gives a picture of the current state of the Requirements Engineering process in a project and, more importantly, how the results of the evaluation can be used for process improvement.

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