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An Exploratory Study on Handling Requirements and Acceptance Test Documentation in Industry - Zurich Open Repository and Archive


Hotomski, Sofija; Ben Charrada, Eya; Glinz, Martin (2016). An Exploratory Study on Handling Requirements and Acceptance Test Documentation in Industry. In: 24th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference, Beijing, 12 September 2016 - 16 September 2016, 116-125.

Abstract

With the emergence and spread of agile processes, the practices of writing and maintaining documentation have drastically changed in the last decade. In this work, we performed a qualitative study to explore the current practices for managing two related types of software documentation: requirements and acceptance tests. We interviewed twenty practitioners from seventeen business units in fifteen companies to investigate the companies’ practices for writing, maintaining and linking requirements and acceptance test documentation. The study yields interesting and partially unexpected results. For example, we had expected that tests would be more extensively documented than requirements, while we found a strong linear correlation between the number of requirements and tests in our sample. We also found that technical people are usually not involved in the requirements engineering activities, which often results in misunderstood or underestimated requirements. Acceptance tests are written, in many cases, based on requirements that are not necessarily detailed enough. Also, acceptance tests are not regularly maintained, which occasionally results in confusing features and bugs.

Abstract

With the emergence and spread of agile processes, the practices of writing and maintaining documentation have drastically changed in the last decade. In this work, we performed a qualitative study to explore the current practices for managing two related types of software documentation: requirements and acceptance tests. We interviewed twenty practitioners from seventeen business units in fifteen companies to investigate the companies’ practices for writing, maintaining and linking requirements and acceptance test documentation. The study yields interesting and partially unexpected results. For example, we had expected that tests would be more extensively documented than requirements, while we found a strong linear correlation between the number of requirements and tests in our sample. We also found that technical people are usually not involved in the requirements engineering activities, which often results in misunderstood or underestimated requirements. Acceptance tests are written, in many cases, based on requirements that are not necessarily detailed enough. Also, acceptance tests are not regularly maintained, which occasionally results in confusing features and bugs.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Event End Date:16 September 2016
Deposited On:21 Feb 2017 14:15
Last Modified:26 Feb 2017 16:18
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/RE.2016.37
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:13670

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