lunduniversity.lu.se

Computer Science

Faculty of Engineering, LTH

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Research

You can find my publication via LUP or in Google scholar.

Requirements Communication and the Gap Finder

Requirements are dynamic and are shaped and conveyed through communication with many roles through-out the development cycle both customers, requirements engineering as well as architects, developers and testers. In my early work I identified a number of factors that may cause gaps in this communication, including lack of common goals and temporal gaps between roles.

I am currently working on a theory that distances affect the communication and coordination within projects, in particular between the RE and the Testing effort. Example of distances that have an impact on this coordination include geographical, cognitive and psychological distances.

Based on this theory of distances I have designed a method called the Gap Finder that locates troublesome gaps by measuring distances and that prescribes improvement practices based on a theoretical model (Gap Model). The method was applied to an agile development project in 2013 with good results. Relevant gaps and improvement practices were identified, and the project team found that the method supported them in reflecting on their communication issues in an objective and constructive manner and lead to applying a number of new communication practices.

Requirements-Test Alignment

While requirements describe the required behaviour of a product, testing verifies the actual behaviour of the implemented software. We have investigated how companies experience and deal with the aligning and coordinating of these two efforts, i.e. requirements and testing. Based on 30 interviews with practitioners from 6 companies, we have derived a large number of challenges and practices including which challenges that each practice addresses. This material also provides the empirical base for our theory of distances, which forms the basis for the Gap Finder.

Software Process Improvement: Evidence-based Timeline Retrospectives (EBTR)

The EBTR method was designed in response to an expressed need of one of our industrial partner to understand how requirements communication worked in their recently introduced agile development process. The method allows a project team to reflect on a past project and thereby gain new insights into their practices including improvements. The main novel contribution is the use of a timeline of project history based on evidence of past evidence gathered from available systems, e.g. wiki pages, scope and issue management systems, status reports etc. This evidence-based timeline acts as a memory prompts and supports an objective and constructive discussion within the project team. The method can be customized toward different goals and for different project contexts, and has been applied to several software development projects.

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