Turning user requirements into solutions is a major challenge of software development. It is tough for developers to fulfill the user’s needs. Strikingly, often this is not due to a lack of technology but due to insufficient communication between users and developers. This issue is approached by the Requirements Bazaar.
Experiences from earlier projects showed that traditional requirements engineering techniques (interviews, focus groups, etc.) become virtually unfeasible in highly distributed settings involving multiple diverse domains. Usually, traditional techniques are challenged by a lack of scalability, increased efforts and travel expenses, numbers of end-users >> number of developers, lack of traceability, lack of unified process. The Requirements Bazaar and its underlying Social Requirements Engineering approach were developed to address exactly these challenges.
The Learning Layers Project is the perfect match for the application of a social requirements engineering process – multiple spatially distributed partners, test-beds in multiple domains, high demands for open source support. Thus, we employ the Requirements Bazaar as a platform for end-users and developers to elicit, negotiate, and prioritize requirements together. First, requirements for one overarching infrastructure for SME collaboration in domain clusters were collected and prioritized by end-user contributed votings. In the context of task T6.1, the requirements and prioritizations collected with the Requirements Bazaar served as input for the construction of a House of Quality document. Furthermore, the informal comments posted by end-users on the Requirements Bazaaron individual requirements helped to clarify misunderstandings and elaborate requirements. In the further development process in Learning Layers we envision to employ the Requirements Bazaar again for requirements engineering wrt. to mobile applications to be developed for the two domain clusters from construction and healthcare.
The Requirements Bazaar has been included as a demo by the prestigious IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering. The 21st IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, July 15th-19th, 2013. We will present the software there and report about our experiences in the Learning Layers Project.
Update: The Requirements Bazaar was awarded the best tool demo of RE’13. In contrast to previous years, best poster and tool demo awards were judged by the conference audience. Each conference participant could vote by attaching sticky notes in different colors standing for different amounts of points. Our demo received by far the most sticky notes with “good colors” in comparison to the 7 other demos. In the end, we won the prestigious RE’13 Best Tool Demo award.
Dominik Renzel, Malte Behrendt, Ralf Klamma, Matthias Jarke: An Open Requirements Bazaar for Social Requirements Engineering in the Long Tail, accepted for IEEE RE 2013.
Abstract—Current globalized service orientation poses great challenges to traditional Requirements Engineering (RE). The innovation potential of specialized niche communities often re- mains inaccessible to service providers due to a lack of effective negotiation between these two groups. Social Requirements Engineering (SRE) aims at bringing together communities and service providers into such a negotiation process. Communities should be supported to express and trace their requirements and eventually receive a realization. Service providers should be supported in discovering relevant innovative requirements to maximize impact with a realization. Addressing these challenges, this paper presents the Requirements Bazaar, a browser-based social software for SRE. In particular, we focus on four aspects: requirements specification, a workflow for co-creation, workspace integration and personalizable requirements prioritization.