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Title: Managing imperfection in requirements: a method and a jigsaw puzzle metaphor
Authors: Pinto-Albuquerque, M.
Rashid, A.
Keywords: Requirements
Team work
Conflict detection
Jigsaw puzzle metaphor
Empirical evaluation
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Institute for Computer Science and Business Information Systems (ICB), University Duisburg Essen
Abstract: Effective requirements engineering in the presence of imperfection remains a major research problem and there is a lack of metaphors to aid communication during consultation with stakeholders. We propose a metaphorto promote and improve communication between stakeholders and requirements engineers when working together on requirements documentation, to detect and handle imperfection. The metaphor is based on jigsaw puzzles, where each puzzle piece represents a concern (i.e., a set of requirements). When the requirement’s text contains imperfections potentially leading to conflicts with other concerns, the respective puzzle pieces have a matching that almost fits but not perfectly. We argue that using such a metaphor fosters team work and communication towards detecting and analyzing imperfections in stakeholder consultation meetings. It also makes stakeholders feel that imperfections in requirements documentation are their problem too. Having the jigsaw puzzle, a game widely known and very easy to learn and play, provides a good metaphor for group work among persons with heterogeneous background, and introduces fun in a work usually perceived as boring. Together with the jigsaw puzzle metaphor we present a method that receives a text document and through the integration of tools and heuristics supports the detection of imperfections, in particular conflicts. The requirements engineer can then select the most pertinent conflicts and require the appropriate tool to produce a jigsaw puzzle to be used in a consultation meeting with stakeholders. We have already conducted an experiment, which indicated interesting results, in particular an effective improvement of communication. We plan to perform two more experiments.
Peer reviewed: yes
ISSN: 1866-5101
Appears in Collections:ISTAR-CRI - Comunicações a conferências internacionais

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