An Empirical Study on Decision making for Quality Requirements

by   Thomas Olsson, et al.

[Context] Quality requirements are important for product success yet often handled poorly. The problems with scope decision lead to delayed handling and an unbalanced scope. [Objective] This study characterizes the scope decision process to understand influencing factors and properties affecting the scope decision of quality requirements. [Method] We studied one company's scope decision process over a period of five years. We analyzed the decisions artifacts and interviewed experienced engineers involved in the scope decision process. [Results] Features addressing quality aspects explicitly are a minor part (4.41 influence the prevalence and acceptance rate of quality features. Lastly, relying on external stakeholders and upfront analysis seems to lead to long lead-times and an insufficient quality requirements scope. [Conclusions] There is a need to make quality mode explicit in the scope decision process. We propose a scope decision process at a strategic level and a tactical level. The former to address long-term planning and the latter to cater for a speedy process. Furthermore, we believe it is key to balance the stakeholder input with feedback from usage and market in a more direct way than through a long plan-driven process.



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