Agile Requirements Engineering in Practice: Status Quo and Critical Problems

Stefan Wagner, Daniel Méndez Fernández, Marcos Kalinowski, Michael Felderer
2018 CLEI Electronic Journal  
Requirements Engineering (RE) is being treated differently in agile development when compared to 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), the main goal of this paper is to build an empirical basis on such aspects of agile RE, based on the responses of representatives from 92 different organisations. Our
more » ... rvey data analyses revealed that agile RE concentrates on free-text documentation of requirements elicited with a variety of techniques. The backlog is the central means to deal with changing requirements. Commonly traces between requirements and code are explicitly managed and testing and RE are typically aligned. Furthermore, continuous improvement of RE is performed due to intrinsic motivation and RE standards are commonly practiced. Among the main problems, we highlight incomplete requirements, communication flaws and moving targets. Those problems were reported to happen commonly in agile projects and to have critical consequences, including project failure. Overall, our findings show 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.
doi:10.19153/cleiej.21.1.6 fatcat:nropvdjcp5aynmf456ip4ehldu