Requirements Engineering Practice and Problems in Agile Projects: Results from an International Survey

Stefan Wagner, Daniel Méndez Fernández, Michael Felderer, Marcos Kalinowski

Requirements engineering (RE) is considerably different in agile development than in more traditional development processes. Yet, there is little empirical knowledge on the state of the practice and contemporary problems in agile RE. As part of a bigger survey initiative (Naming the Pain in Requirements Engineering), we build an empirical basis on such aspects of agile RE. Based on the responses of representatives from 92 different organisations, we found that agile RE concentrates on free-text documentation of requirements elicited with a variety of techniques. Often, traces between requirements and code are explicitly managed and also software testing and RE are aligned. Furthermore, continuous improvement of RE is performed due to intrinsic motivation. Important experienced problems include unclear requirements and communication flaws. Overall, we found that most organisations conduct RE in a way we would expect and that agile RE is in several aspects not so different from RE in other development processes.

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