An Approach That Stimulates Architectural Thinking during Requirements Elicitation: An Empirical Evaluation

Preethu Anish, Maya Daneva, Smita Ghaisas, Roel Wieringa

Abstract

In many global outsourcing projects, the software requirement specifications (SRS) are often orchestrated by requirements analysts who have sufficient business knowledge but are not equipped to ask the kind of questions that are needed to unearth architecturally relevant information from the customer. Often, the resultant SRS therefore lacks some critical details needed by software architects to make informed architectural decisions. To remedy this, the software architects either make assumptions or conduct additional stakeholder interviews resulting in expensive refactoring efforts and project delays. Using an empirical approach, we have designed an approach of using architectural knowledge that can serve as a communication medium between requirements analyst and software architects. In this paper, we present a detailed empirical evaluation of our proposed approach, with practitioners from real-world organizations. Using two studies, we found that in the experience of the participating practitioners, the approach is relevant, easy to use and effective.

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