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Engineering and Managing Software Requirements

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Requirements engineering is the process by which the requirements for software systems are gathered, analyzed, documented, and managed throughout their complete lifecycle. Traditionally it has been concerned with technical goals for, functions of, and constraints on software systems. Aurum and Wohlin, however, argue that it is no longer appropriate for software systems professionals to focus only on functional and non-functional aspects of the intended system and to somehow assume that organizational context and needs are outside their remit. Instead, they call for a broader perspective in order to gain a better understanding of the interdependencies between enterprise stakeholders, processes, and software systems, which would in turn give rise to more appropriate techniques and higher-quality systems.

Following an introductory chapter that provides an exploration of key issues in requirements engineering, the book is organized in three parts. Part 1 presents surveys of state-of-the art requirements engineering process research along with critical assessments of existing models, frameworks and techniques. Part 2 addresses key areas in requirements engineering, such as market-driven requirements engineering, goal modeling, requirements ambiguity, and others. Part 3 concludes the book with articles that present empirical evidence and experiences from practices in industrial projects. Its broader perspective gives this book its distinct appeal and makes it of interest to both researchers and practitioners, not only in software engineering but also in other disciplines such as business process engineering and management science.

As we enter the third millennium, organizations have to cope with accelerating rates of change in technology and increased levels of competition on a global scale more than ever before. There is incredible pressure on companies to achieve and sustain competitive advantage. In order to stay competitive within this changing business environment, organizations are forced to constantly pursue new strategies to differentiate themselves from their competition, such as offering a stream of new products and services. Organizations in search of competitive advantage become more conscious of how software products have become a strategic asset to their business. Software companies, like many other organizations, are forced to adapt to the strategic challenges and opportunities presented by the new economy where new technology causes dramatic changes in business processes, products and services. Since software products play a vital role in supporting strategic challenges and opportunities in business, it is important that these products function according to customers’ or markets’ requirements. Hence, an important task in software development is the identification and understanding of key business requirements to ensure that software products will fully support and evolve with the system.
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