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Requirements Uncertainty: Influencing Factors and Concrete Improvements by Christof Ebert and Jozef De Man PowerPoint Presentation
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Requirements Uncertainty: Influencing Factors and Concrete Improvements by Christof Ebert and Jozef De Man. ICSE Conference - May 2005 pp. 553-560 Poster by: Yuliya Royz. Summary. Requirements Uncertainty is one of the many risks that result in delays of the projects.

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Requirements Uncertainty:Influencing Factors and Concrete Improvements byChristof Ebert and Jozef De Man

ICSE Conference - May 2005

pp. 553-560

Poster by: Yuliya Royz

summary
Summary
  • Requirements Uncertainty is one of the many risks that result in delays of the projects.
  • By evaluating 246 projects of Alcatel’s, authors determine that in order to mitigate the risk of requirements uncertainty following product requirements techniques must be used in combination of 3 or 4 to offer best results:
    • Core team with empowered stakeholder
    • Product life-cycle with early gate review
    • Requirements are online accessible and traceable
    • Requirements evaluation from external perspective
requirements uncertainty
Requirements Uncertainty
  • Requirements uncertainty result in:
    • Insufficient project planning
    • Continuous changes in the project
    • Delays
    • Configuration problems
    • Defects
    • Customer dissatisfaction
  • Shortening project duration, applying iterative approach, and increasing analysis duration do not decrease requirements change rate.
  • Existing best practice techniques for capturing requirements and managing the changes often not used in the industry.
  • There is no single technique that would help eliminate requirements uncertainty because of many environmental characteristics of the projects.
observations from the field study on the impact of requirements uncertainty
Observations From The Field Study on the Impact of Requirements Uncertainty

Figure 3 from paper

  • From right to left the team went backwards through the Problems in the Project and Early Project Symptoms to identify Root Causes
  • Further interviews and assessments suggested that techniques for improvement can be better positioned to target Early Project Symptoms since they are in the control of the project team
techniques to treat one or more of the early project symptoms
Techniques to Treat One or More of the Early Project Symptoms

Figure 4 from paper

  • Proved correlation between the number of techniques used on the project and their impact on project delays:
    • Only combination of three or four techniques for dealing with requirements uncertainty reduces project delays. Using less than 3 techniques does not improve project delays.
practical experiences
Practical Experiences
  • Implementation of these techniques occurs between inception and elaboration phases.
  • Each technique is tangible:
    • Core team with empowered stakeholders
      • Core team must be accountable for project commitments
      • Core team must include Product Manager, Marketing Manager, and Technical Project Manager
    • Product life-cycle with early gate reviews
      • Product life-cycle must be flexible to be tailored to different project types
      • Meaningful project data available to make go/no go decisions
    • Requirements and project information are online accessible and traceable
      • Requirements must have appropriate attributes defined, i.e. priority, effort, release, etc
      • Requirements must traced to downstream work products and linked with each other based on domain, release, or application
    • Requirements Evaluation from External Perspective
      • Consider use of Pareto analysis to determine priority by considering cost and value of the requirements
      • Project plans must be requirements driven with consideration for the business priority and technical dependencies
  • Techniques can be applied to one project at a time and then the practice can be applied to organization.
critique
Critique
  • The paper does a good job of evaluating the correlation of product development best practices techniques on mitigation of requirements uncertainty risk using historical data of completed projects.
  • Authors did not make a clear point why treating root causes would not be as effective as treating early project symptoms. It appears that suggested techniques would eliminate root-causes as well.
  • Relevance of the Product life-cycle with early gate reviews technique is not clear on how it can help mitigate requirements uncertainty. The decision of the gate may be “no go”, until requirements are better defined; which in turn can delay the project.
questions
Questions
  • What product requirements techniques must be used to mitigate requirements uncertainty risk?
  • Will shortening project duration decrease requirements change rate?
  • Name at least one attribute to describe requirements?