Improved Requirements through the Use of Scenarios and Usability Tests on Early Prototypes
There is no generally accepted way of making a requirements specification. Recommendations like the IEEE Guide to Software Requirements Specifications (IEEE Std. 830) and A.M. Davis' book (Software Requirements, Analysis and Specification) are definitely helpful, but most developers have great troubles following them.
We have found that the most effective way to improve the requirements engineering process is to define and describe common work situations (scenarios) for the product to be developed, and validate these work situations through usability tests on very early prototypes.
This two day workshop should be held when your project team has been formed, very early in the requirements phase. E.g. the workshop could be combined with other team building activities. Your team will work with these techniques based on their own knowledge about the initial requirements for the product.
The workshop will give your project team practical, workable knowledge on:
The agenda for the workshop is:
More informationThe background for this workshop was a Process Improvement Experiment (PRIDE) funded by EU under the ESSI programme. ESSI (European System and Software Initiative) aims at improving Software Best Practice in Europe. The final report can be downloaded from here: Finalrp3.doc.
The results of the experiment were in a shorter form presented at e.g. QWE'98 under the title: "Improved Requirements Engineering Based on Defect Analysis". You can download from here the paper and viewgraphs.
After the completion of the experiment, we have gathered large scale experiences using the techniques including their diffusion and adoption in the organisation. You can download the full report (in Danish): Rapport fra forbedringsaktivitet: Kravspecifikationer.
All of the experiences in the reports above are included in the workshop.
About the instructorOtto Vinter is a software engineering mentor specialising in software process improvements. He is on the programme committee of several international conferences, performs mentoring activities for clients, and is an expert evaluator on the framework programmes of the CEC.
The above work was performed while he was responsible for software process improvements projects at Brüel & Kjær. He has also been active in defining software engineering standards, procedures, and methods to be employed at Brüel & Kjær.
He has managed software development projects for 30 years. He holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from the Danish Technical University (1968).