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Requirements Quality Is Quality in Use

Femmer, Henning; Vogelsang, Andreas

The quality of requirements engineering artifacts is widely considered a success factor for software projects. Currently, the definition of high-quality or good RE artifacts is often provided through normative references, such as quality standards, textbooks, or generic guidelines. We see various problems of such normative references: (1) It is hard to ensure that the contained rules are complete, (2) the contained rules are not context-dependent, and (3) the standards lack precise reasoning why certain criteria are considered bad quality. To change this understanding, we postulate that creating an RE artifact is rarely an end in itself, but just a means to understand and reach the project’s goals. Following this line of thought, the purpose of an RE artifact is to support the stakeholders in whatever activities they are performing in the project. This purpose must define high-quality RE artifacts. To express this view, we contribute an activity-based RE quality meta model and show applications of this paradigm. Lastly, we describe the impacts of this view onto research and practice.
Published in: IEEE software, 10.1109/MS.2018.110161823, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)