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  • CODEN:LUTEDX(TETS)-5478/1-86/(2003)&local5

    Requirements Engineering for Building IT - an Industrial Case Study

    Master Thesis by

    Anders Åkesson

    Performed at TAC AB Supervisor

    Claes-Peter Haväng

    Department of Communication Systems at Lund Institute of Technology Supervisor

    Björn Regnell

    March 2003

  • Requirements Engineering for Building IT – an Industrial Case Study iii

    Abstract In the industry today, requirements engineering is becoming more important than ever. The lack of methods, techniques and processes dealing with requirements may not be directly noticeable, but the cost for not having them is great. Competition on the software market is fierce and users do not hesitate to abandon a software product if it does not fulfil his or her needs. One of the most important software attributes which greatly affect the user is quality. It has been proven time after time that introduction and successful use of requirements engineering will improve software quality. If quality is improved, extensive rework and support will not be needed. Thus, costs will decrease. TAC is a supplier of integrated systems for building automation. Along with these integrated systems, various software programs which support user and market needs are developed and marketed. A late addition to TAC’s software offer is the web based business platform I-talk®. This product has until now been run as a research project with poorly defined processes and procedures. An effort is being made to include it in TAC’s product planning process. However, requirements engineering is not directly addressed in this process. I-talk, being a rapidly developing web system, suffers from this. This thesis introduces requirements engineering and suggests techniques for dealing with requirements. Some of the techniques presented have been studied in an I-talk project and are evaluated as a part of this thesis. Also, a suggestion of a tuned requirements engineering process, which supports both the common product planning process as well as the somewhat complex nature of I-talk as a product, is made.

  • Requirements Engineering for Building IT – an Industrial Case Study iv

  • Requirements Engineering for Building IT – an Industrial Case Study v

    Acknowledgements I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the patient people I have used and hassled to get substantial input to this thesis report. I would especially like to thank my supervisor Claes-Peter Haväng at TAC AB for his constant interest and support during the writing of this thesis. Also, the man who unknowingly pushed me through the hard work of completing this thesis report, my academic supervisor Björn Regnell at the Department of Communication Systems at Lund Institute of Technology, deserve the warmest of thanks. Finally, I would like to thank the I-talk team at TAC AB for their support and encouragement during the days at TAC. Malmö, March 2003 Anders Åkesson

  • Requirements Engineering for Building IT – an Industrial Case Study vi

  • Requirements Engineering for Building IT – an Industrial Case Study vii

    Table of Contents

    Abstract .........................................................iii

    Acknowledgements .......................................... v

    Table of Contents............................................vii

    Introduction .................................................... 1 1.1 Background ..................................................... 1 1.2 Audience ......................................................... 1 1.3 Objectives ....................................................... 1 1.4 Outline............................................................ 1

    Theory and Techniques..................................... 3 2.1 Software Engineering ........................................ 3

    2.1.1 Comprehensive summary ................................................................... 3 2.1.2 Process improvement ........................................................................ 4

    2.2 Requirements Engineering ................................. 5 2.2.1 Requirements ................................................................................... 6

    High-level requirements ................................................................ 6 Functional requirements................................................................ 6 Domain-level requirements............................................................ 6 Product-level requirements............................................................ 7 Design-level requirements ............................................................. 7 User requirements........................................................................ 7 System requirements.................................................................... 7 Quality requirements .................................................................... 7

    2.2.2 Quality............................................................................................. 7 2.2.3 Describing the process activities.......................................................... 9

    Feasibility study ........................................................................... 9 Elicitation and analysis ................................................................ 10 Specification .............................................................................. 12 Validation.................................................................................. 16 Prioritization .............................................................................. 17

    2.2.4 Requirements engineering processes ................................................. 18 A general phase-oriented process model ....................................... 18 A state-oriented process model .................................................... 18

    2.2.5 CASE - Computer Aided Software Engineering .................................... 19 Existing tools ............................................................................. 20

    2.3 Usability.........................................................20 2.3.1 Measurements ................................................................................ 20 2.3.2 Benefits ......................................................................................... 21 2.3.3 Usability testing .............................................................................. 21 2.3.4 Conducting a test ............................................................................ 21

    Planning.................................................................................... 21 Selecting Users .......................................................................... 21 Collect user data ........................................................................ 22 Develop prototype ...................................................................... 22 Conduct test .............................................................................. 22 Iteration.................................................................................... 22

    2.4 Evaluation methods .........................................22 2.4.1 Heuristic evaluation ......................................................................... 22 2.4.2 Capability Maturity Model – CMM....................................................... 23

    2.5 Prototyping.....................................................24 2.5.1 A general prototyping process........................................................... 24 2.5.2 Throw-away prototyping .................................................................. 25

  • Requirements Engineering for Building IT – an Industrial Case Study viii

    Table of Contents

    2.5.3 Evolutionary prototyping .................................................................. 25 2.5.4 e-Prototyping.................................................................................. 26 2.5.5 User interface prototyping ................................................................ 26 2.5.6 Prototyping benefits ........................................................................ 27

    The Current Situation ..................................... 29 3.1 The domain of TAC ..........................................29

    3.1.1 Business goals ................................................................................ 29 3.1.2 Products......................................................................................... 29 3.1.3 I-talk ............................................................................................. 31

    3.2 Establishing the current work process.................32 3.2.1 Why?............................................................................................. 33 3.2.2 The interviews ................................................................................ 33 3.2.3 Observation.................................................................................... 33 3.2.4 Reading ......................................................................................... 33 3.2.5 Web library..................................................................................... 34

    3.3 Current work process .......................................34 3.3.1 Actors............................................................................................ 34

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