An Effective Requirement Engineering Process Model for Software Development and Requirements Management
ABSTRACT Requirement engineering is the most effective phase of software development process. It aims to collect good requirements from stakeholders in the right way. It is important for every organization to develop quality software products that can satisfy user's needs. Requirements engineering for software development process is a complex exercise that considers product demands from a vast number of viewpoints, roles, responsibilities, and objectives. Therefore, it becomes necessary to apply requirement engineering practices in every phase of software development process. In this paper, we propose an effective requirements engineering process model to produce quality requirements for software development. Requirement management and planning phase is executed independently for an effective management of requirements. It is iterative in nature for better requirement engineering and later maintenance. The successful implementation of proposed requirement engineering process can have a good impact on the production of quality software product.
Conference Proceeding: Pair Analysis of Requirements in Software Engineering Education[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Requirements Analysis and Design is found to be one of the crucial subjects in Software Engineering education. Students need to have deeper understanding before they could start to analyse and design the requirements, either using models or textual descriptions. However, the outcomes of their analysis are always vague and error-prone. We assume that this issue can be handled if "pair analysis" is conducted where all students are assigned with partners following the concept of pair-programming. To prove this, we have conducted a small preliminary evaluation to compare the outcomes of solo work and "pair analysis" work for three different groups of students. The performance, efficacy and students' satisfaction and confidence level are evaluated.5th Malaysian Conference in Software Engineering, Malaysia; 12/2011
An Effective Requirement Engineering Process
Model for Software Development and Requirements
Dhirendra Pandey U. Suman
Department of Information Technology
Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University
Lucknow (UP), India
School for Information Science & IT
Indore (MP), India
A. K. Ramani
School for Information Science & IT
Indore (MP), India
Abstract- Requirement engineering is the most effective phase
of software development process. It aims to collect good
requirements from stakeholders in the right way. It is important
for every organization to develop quality software products that
can satisfy user’s needs. Requirements engineering for software
development process is a complex exercise that considers product
demands from a vast number
responsibilities, and objectives. Therefore, it becomes necessary
to apply requirement engineering practices in every phase of
software development process. In this paper, we propose an
effective requirements engineering process model to produce
quality requirements for software development. Requirement
management and planning phase is executed independently for
an effective management of requirements. It is iterative in nature
for better requirement engineering and later maintenance. The
successful implementation of proposed requirement engineering
process can have a good impact on the production of quality
of viewpoints, roles,
Keywords: Requirement engineering, requirement analysis,
requirement elicitation, requirement development, requirement
Requirements are attributes or something, which we
discover before building products. It is a condition or
capability that must be met or possessed by a system or system
component to satisfy a contract, standard, specification, or
other formally imposed documents . A well-formed
requirement is a statement of system functionality that satisfies
customer needs. There exists a reciprocal interrelationship
between human beings and machines for requirement
gathering that can assist to produce quality products .
Requirements are commonly classified as functional and non-
functional . A functional requirement is a requirement that
specifies an action performed by a system without considering
physical constraints. Non-functional requirement specifies
system properties such as environmental and implementation
maintainability, extensibility, reliability etc. .
performance, platform dependencies,
Requirement engineering is generally accepted to be the
most critical and complex process within the development of
socio-technical systems [3, 4, 5]. In this way, it helps to
describe a multidisciplinary role of requirements engineering
process as well as the patterns for social interaction. The main
reason is that the requirements engineering process has the
most dominant impact on the capabilities of the resulting
product. Furthermore, requirements engineering is a process in
which most diverse set of product demands from the most
diverse set of stakeholders, which is already being considered
by the practitioners. These two reasons make requirements
engineering complex as well as critical.
Requirement engineering is a systematic approach through
which the software engineer collects requirements from
different sources and implements them into the software
development processes. Requirement engineering activities
cover the entire system and software development life cycle.
Requirements engineering process is an iterative process
which also indicates that the requirements management is
understood as an aspect of requirements engineering process
[9, 10, 11]. Traditionally, requirements engineering is
performed in the beginning of the system development
lifecycle . However, in large and complex systems
development, developing an accurate set of requirements that
would remain stable throughout the months or years of
development has been realised to be impossible in practice
. Therefore, requirements engineering is an incremental
and iterative process, performed in parallel with other system
development activities such as design, coding etc.
Requirements engineering contains a set of activities for
discovering, analysing, documenting,
maintaining a set of requirements for a system .
Requirements engineering is divided into two main groups of
2010 International Conference on Advances in Recent Technologies in Communication and Computing
978-0-7695-4201-0/10 $26.00 © 2010 Crown Copyright
activities; namely, requirements development and requirement
management. Requirement development covers activities
related to discovering, analysing, documenting and validating
requirements where as requirement management includes
activities related to traceability and change management of
requirements. Requirements verification consists of those
activities that confirm that the product of a system
development process meets its technical specifications.
Requirements validation consists of activities that confirm that
the behaviour of a developed system meets its user needs .
Technical Feed back
Requirement engineering is a very important activity,
which can affect the entire activity of software development
project. Requirement engineering is one of the most important
tools for gathering requirements, which is concerned with
analysing and documenting the requirements . We propose
an effective model of requirement engineering process for
software development, which is discussed in detail with
various phases in Section 2. The comparative discussion of
proposed requirement engineering process model with existing
models is presented in Section 3. Finally, Section 4 describes
the concluding remarks and future research work.
The main objective of requirement engineering is to
discover quality requirements that can be implemented into
software development. The identified requirements must be
clear, consistent, modifiable and traceable to produce a quality
product. In this paper, we have proposed an effective
requirement engineering process model, which is shown in
figure 1. It consists of mainly four phases, namely;
requirement elicitation and development, documentation of
requirements, validation and verification of requirements, and
requirement management and
elicitation and development phase includes requirement
analysis and allocation and flow down of requirements.
REQUIREMENT ENGINEERING PROCESS
Documentation of requirements includes identification of
requirements and software
specification. Validation and verification of requirements
phase is concerned with conforming the documented
and system requirement
Figure. 1: Requirement Engineering Process Model
The requirement management and planning phase controls
the continuously changing requirements. Each of these
activities is further detailed in the following sub sections. The
proposed process describes requirements engineering for
software development systems in which requirement
engineering must be a part of the software development
A. Requirements Elicitation and Development
Requirement elicitation and development phase mainly
focuses on examining and gathering desired requirements and
objectives for the system from different viewpoints (e.g.,
customer, users, constraints, system's operating environment,
trade, marketing and standard etc.). Requirements elicitation
phase begins with identifying stakeholders of the system and
collecting raw requirements from various viewpoints. Raw
requirements are requirements that have not been analysed and
have not yet been written down in a well-formed requirement
notation. The elicitation phase aims to collect different
viewpoints such as business requirements, customer
requirements, user requirements,
requirements, information requirements, standards etc.
Typically, the specification of system requirements starts with
observing and interviewing people .
Figure. 2: Development of Requirements
Furthermore, user requirements are often misunderstood
because the system analyst may misinterpret the user’s needs.
In addition to requirements gathering, standards and
constraints play an important role in systems development.
The development of requirements may be contextual, which is
shown in figure 2. It is observed that requirement engineering
is a process of collecting requirements from customer and
environment in a systematic manner. The system analyst
collects raw requirements and then performs detailed analysis
and receives feedbacks. Thereafter, these outcomes are
compared with the technicality of the system and produce the
good and necessary requirements for software development [3,
Requirements Analysis: The development and
gathering of good quality requirements is the basic activity of
any organisation to develop quality software products. These
requirements are then rigorously analysed within the context
of business requirements. It is also observed that the identified
raw requirements may be conflicting . Therefore,
negotiation, agreement, communication and prioritisation of
the raw requirements become important activities of
requirement analysis. The analysed requirements need to be
Requirement Elicitation and
Allocation and flow down
Requirement Management &
documented to enable communication with stakeholders and
future maintenance of requirements and the system.
Requirements analysis also refines the software allocation and
builds models of the process, data, and behavioural domains
that may be treated by the software. Prioritising the software
requirements is also part of software requirements analysis.
Allocation and Flow-down of Requirements: The
purpose of requirements allocation and flow-down is to make
sure that all system requirements are fulfilled by a subsystem
or by a set of subsystems that can work together to achieve
objectives. Top-level system requirements need to be
organized hierarchically that can assist to view and manage
information at different levels of abstraction. The requirements
are decomposed down to the level at which the requirement
can be designed and tested. Thus, allocation and flow-down
may be performed for several hierarchical levels. The level of
detail increases as the work proceeds down in the hierarchy.
That is, system-level requirements are general in nature, while
requirements at low levels in the hierarchy are very specific
[17, 7]. The top-level system requirements defined in the
system requirements development phase are the main input for
the requirements allocation and flow-down phase. As the
system level requirements are being developed, the elements
that should be defined in the hierarchy should also be
considered . Allocation and flow- down of requirements
a) Allocation of Requirements:
requirements is an architectural task carried out in order to
design the structure of the system and to issue the top-level
system requirements to subsystems. Architectural models
provide the context for defining interaction between
applications and subsystems to meet the requirements of the
system. The goal of architectural modelling is to define a
robust framework within which applications and component
subsystems may be developed . Each system level
requirement is allocated to one or more elements at the next
level. Allocation also includes allocating the non-functional
requirements to system elements. Each system element will
need an apportionment of non-functional requirements (e.g.,
performance requirement) [14, 18, 19, 10]. When functional
and the non-functional requirements of the system have been
allocated then the system engineer can create a model that
represents the interrelationship between system elements and
sets a foundation for later requirements analysis and design
b) Flow-down of Requirements: Flow-down consists of
writing requirements for the lower level elements in response
to the allocation. When a system requirement is allocated to a
subsystem, the subsystem must have at least one requirement
that responds to the allocation. The lower-level requirements
either may closely resemble to the higher level or may be very
different if the system engineers recognize a capability that the
lower level element must have to meet the higher-level
requirements. The lower-level requirements are often referred
to as derived requirements . Derived requirements are
requirements that must be imposed on the subsystem(s). These
requirements are derived from the systems decomposition
process. There are two subclasses of derived requirement, i.e.
subsystem requirements and interface requirement. The
subsystem requirements are the requirements that must be
imposed on the subsystems themselves but do not necessarily
provide a direct benefit to the end user. Interface requirements
are the requirement that arise when the subsystems need to
communicate with one another to accomplish an overall result.
This result is needed to share data or power or a useful
computing algorithm. .
In the allocation and flow-down phase, requirements
identification and traceability have to be ensured both to
higher level requirements as well as between requirements on
the same level. The rationale behind design decisions should
be recorded in order to ensure that there is enough information
for verification and validation of the next phases work
products and change management. In theory, it produces a
system in which all elements are completely balanced or
optimized. In the real world, complete balance is seldom
achieved, due to fiscal, schedule, and technological constraints
[11, 18]. Allocation and flow-down starts as a multi-
disciplinary activity, i.e., subsystems may contain hardware,
software, and mechanics. Initially, they are considered as one
subsystem but different disciplines are considered separately
in later iterations.
B. Documentation of Requirements
A formal document is prepared after collecting
requirements, which contains a complete description of the
external behaviour of the software system. Requirements
development process is the activity of determining which
functionality of the system will be performed by software.
Non-functional requirements are combined together with
functional requirements into the software requirements
specification with the help of flow-down, allocation, and
derivation. A software requirements specification will be
established for each software
configuration item, or component is part of this phase .
The documentation of requirements includes requirement
identification and requirement specification.
Requirements Identification: Requirements
identification practices focus on the assignment of a unique
identifier for each requirement . These unique identifiers
are used to refer requirements during product development and
management. Requirements identification process consists of
three sub activities. The basic numbering activity includes
significant numbering and non-significant numbering whereas
identification activity includes labelling, structure based
identification and symbolic identification. The last technique
is to support and automate the management of items, which
includes dynamic renumbering, database record identification
and base lining requirements [6, 22].
specification document is produced after the successful
identification of requirements. The document describes the
product to be delivered rather than the process of its
development. Software requirement specification (SRS) is an
effective tool for requirement specification which is a
complete description of the behaviour of the system or
software to be developed. It includes a set of use cases that
describe all the interactions that users will have with the
system/software . In addition to use cases, the SRS also
contains non-functional (or supplementary) requirements.
Non-functional requirements are requirements which impose
constraints on the design or implementation. SRS is a
comprehensive description of the intended purpose and
environment for software under development. The SRS fully
describes what the software will do and how it will be
expected to perform. An SRS minimizes the time and effort
required by developers to achieve desired goals and also
minimizes the development cost. A good SRS defines how an
application will interact with system hardware, other programs
and users in a wide variety of real-world situations. Parameters
such as operating speed, response time, availability,
portability, maintainability, footprint, security and speed of
recovery from adverse events are evaluated in SRS.
C. Requirements Verification and Validation
When the entire requirement are described and specified in
the SRS, then different parties involved have to agree upon its
nature. One should ascertain that the correct requirements are
stated (validation) and these requirements are stated correctly
(verification). Validation and verification activities include
validating the system requirements against raw requirements
and verifying the correctness of system requirement
documentation. The most common techniques for validating
requirements are requirements reviews with the stakeholders,
and prototyping. Software requirements need to be validated
against system level requirements and SRS needs to be
verified. Verification of
consistency, unambiguousness and understandability of
requirements. In requirement verification and validation,
requirements traceability mechanism can generate an audit
trail between the software requirements and finally tested
code. Traceability should be maintained to system level
requirements, between software requirements, and to later
phases, e.g., architectural work products. The outcome of the
software requirements development phase is a formal
document including a baseline of the agreed software
SRS includes correctness,
D. Requirement Management and Planning
Requirements Management and planning phase controls
and tracks the changes of agreed requirements, relationships
between requirements, and dependencies between the
requirements documents and other documents produced during
the systems and software engineering process . It is a
continuous and cross-section process that begins from
requirements management planning and continues activities of
identification and change
requirements development process phases. Requirements
management is a continuous activity that can perform after
control during and after
development and during maintenance because requirements
may continue to change [9, 21].
Requirement traceability is a part of requirement
management, which refers ability to describe and follow the
life of a requirement and its relations with other development
artefacts in both forwards and backwards direction [22, 23].
We need to manage continually changing requirements
because these are often changed time to time and cause of
excessive damage. The changing requirements can be
managed by applying requirements change management
process. It refers to the ability to manage changes to
requirements throughout software development lifecycle.
Change management includes identifying, analysing, deciding
on whether a change will be implemented and the possibility
of implementing and validating change requests.
Requirement management is sometimes considered as the
most complex requirements engineering process . A
requirement change can have a large impact on the developing
system, which is very hard to estimate. For every change, costs
and re-development work must have to be considered before
approving the change. After refinement of requirements, the
requirement can be further incorporated into software
development processes. Requirement change management has
a strong relationship with baselining . Requirements
management tools have been developed to manage unstable
requirements and large amount of data collected during
requirements engineering process .
Requirements management tools collect together with the
system requirements in a database or repository and provide a
range of facilities to access the information about the
requirements . Software requirements management tool
support secure and concurrent co-operative work between
members of a multidisciplinary development team that support
standard systems, modelling techniques and notations. It is
necessary to maintain an audit trail of changes, archive
baseline versions, and engage a mechanism to authenticate and
approve change requests. One should also maintain a
comprehensive data dictionary of all project components and
requirements in a shared repository and produce predefined
and ad-hoc reports. Documents should also be generated that
can comply with standard industrial templates .
The proposed requirement engineering process is more
effective to produce quality requirements. The other
requirement engineering processes are limited to cover only
few dimension of requirement engineering such as
requirement elicitation, requirement
requirement verification and validation . The proposed
model introduces all important and hidden aspects of
requirement engineering process. The existing requirement
engineering process models are unable to communicate their
phases with software development process in the right manner
[10, 30]. We relate all the important aspects of requirement
engineering process to software development process in order
to find out good requirements from various sources that can be
implemented into software development process for producing
quality software products. We have also relate requirement
management and planning phase to the software development
phases in our model because requirements can change over the
time and during software development process, this can give
bad outcomes. Therefore, it is necessary to manage
continuously changing requirements through requirement
management and planning.
The proposed requirement engineering model can be used
in larger software development process, where the
requirements are continuously changed. It presents the new
insight of requirement management and planning which can
manage the changing requirement.
engineering activities in the model such as elicitation,
documentation of requirement and verification & validation
are tightly interconnected to the software development phases.
It can help to recover and modify the requirement, whenever
requirements are changed in any phase of software
development. Software developer can easily supply the
required and modified requirements using requirement
management and planning activity. Using this model, software
developer can design the software product, which will be able
to avoid and manage changing requirements.
The proposed model is iterative in nature, which is useful
in requirement prototyping with more user participation.
Using this model, organisation can allow users for any further
change in requirements during software development process.
The SRS can be modified accordingly and these changed
requirements can be re-implemented in software development.
Requirements engineering is the initial phase of software
engineering process in which user requirements are collected,
understood, and specified for developing quality software
products. The requirement engineering process deserves a
stronger attention in the industrial practices . In this paper,
we proposed an effective requirement engineering process
model for software development that can be used for software
development processes to produce a quality product.
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