Wednesday 05 Feb 17:30

Beware of the Gaps that Hinder Your Requirements Communication



LEVEL: Intermediate


We will begin at 17.30 with meet, greet and something to lighter to eat.

Presentation starts at 18.00


When there are gaps in the information flow, requirements can be lost or distorted. Similar to the Chinese whispering game, the end product might end up being different from what the customer originally asked for. Requirements communication is slowed down and hindered by distances, or gaps, between project members and between artefacts. This can result in issues and bugs which require additional cost and effort to fix.

During the seminar practical implications of various requirements engineering (RE) distances will be discussed, e.g. geographical, organisational, cognitive, semantic etc. Examples will be given from a case study of an agile development project.

A new method called Gap Finder was applied to this project to assess and improve on requirements coordination and alignment. Various distances were measured within the team and between their requirements and test specifications. The application of the Gap Finder highlighted issues in a new way and helped the team to discuss these in an open and objective way. This also triggered them to implement some of the practices suggested by Gap Finder for bridging the gaps and strengthening the requirements flow.


Elizabeth Bjarnason has recently (Nov-13) completed her PhD in Software Engineering at Lund University, Sweden, on the topic of integrated Requirements Engineering (iRE). A field that she has experience of from her 15 years at Sony Mobile’s software development unit in Lund, Sweden. She was there responsible for the processes for developing software for Sony’s Xperia phones as part of the process team. In particular, she was responsible for the requirements aspects of those processes. Through her experience of requirements as an integrated part of large-scale software development she has become interested in empirical research within the area of requirements engineering. Her main research interest is the role of requirements in the development process, including integrated and agile requirements engineering, requirements communication and collaboration, and alignment between requirements and later development activities.

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