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RE State-of-the-Practices Study


Requirements Engineering (RE) is a critical area in software development, as figuring out what to develop and include in a product is a cornerstone activity which all others depend upon. Countless studies of unsuccessful development projects report that lack in RE is often a core-contributing failure factor [1]. A core piece of RE are the requirements elicitation, specification and reuse processes.

Requirements elicitation is typically seen as the first step of RE [2]. It refers to the activities undertaken to surface the requirements of a system to be built or a problem to be solved [3]. Requirements specification involves describing adequately the elicited requirements. The main and most important specification task is to document the requirements for the system to be in a suitable manner [4]. Finally, requirements reuse refers to taking advantage of requirements knowledge obtained from previous projects and later on using this knowledge in a new one.

In order to understand better how requirements elicitation, specification and reuse practices are made in industry, we conducted an interview-based empirical study involving 12 Swedish companies and 24 senior experienced practitioners.

For more information on the study see also:


[1] The Project Management Institute (PMI), “Pulse of the Profession® In-Depth Report: Requirements Management — A Core Competency for Project and Program Success”, 2014.
[2] B. Nuseibeh and S. Easterbrook, “Requirements engineering: a roadmap”, in Procs. of the Conference on the Future of Software Eng. (ICSE’00) ACM, pp. 35–46, 2000.
[3] I. Sommerville and G. Kotonya, “Requirements engineering: processes and techniques”, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998.
[4] K. Pohl and C. Rupp, Requirements Engineering Fundamentals, O'Reilly, 2011.


Cristina Palomares Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) Responsible
Xavier Franch Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) Researcher and supervisor
Carme Quer Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) Researcher
Tony Gorschek Blekinge Technical University (BTH) Expert advisor
Lidia López Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) Research support

Panagiota Chatzipetrou

Blekinge Technical University (BTH) Research support


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