Requirements Engineering (RE), SS22

Requirements Engineering is the starting activitiy in the software lifecycle. Goal of RE is to create a precise, natural-language-based specification for a software system, plus the maintenance of such a specification. A requirements document is supposed to bridge the “natural gap” between business side (purchaser) and IT side (contractor). Such a documents needs to be easily understandable by both sides, yet precise enough to serve as a base for coding software. RE is a sequel to “Anforderungsmanagement” (AM) in Master Computer Science (Software Engineering) study program, which is the predecessor of the Master of Digital Sciences. Both RE and AM will be taught jointly, until the Master Computer Science will expire.

Study Program and Module Description
Master Digital Sciences (specialization Software Architecture) (see also module description in the study program web site)
Begin/End and Scheduling
01.04.2022 - 08.07.2022. Organized as ca. 8 full-day workshops (Fridays 10:00 - 17:00), specific dates and agenda see below.
Location
The module takes place in a hybrid format. Please refer to the respective time slot or workshop day (see below on this page), to check if it is online or in presence. If there are no details given on this page, please check the other communication channels (e.g. Discord).
Video conference link: https://th-koeln.zoom.us/j/82586381519?pwd=dVNXb0txeWgvR2tuWEM2UXRKUDdYUT09
Room 1: 0502 (Building LC6, opposite of Schwalbe-Arena)
Room 2: 1708 (Building LC4 (library building). Room 1708 is our lab office space, with enough room for small workshops. However, the room is only accessible with by transponder. Thereore, please be at the door left of the library entrance, I will fetch you there. Call me (or a fellow student) by mobile phone in case you should run late.)
Room 3: Innovation Hub (Building LC7 (building right of the passage to Gummersbach station). The Innovation Hub is not open to the public. Thereore, please be at the main entrance, and I will fetch you there. Call me (or a fellow student) bymobile phone in case you should run late.)
ILIAS Course for the Module
https://ilias.th-koeln.de/ilias.php?ref_id=987028&cmdClass=ilrepositorygui&cmdNode=wc&baseClass=ilrepositorygui
Registration for the Module
Please send me a message (email or Discord) if you would like to participate. Registration is possible until 01.04.2022. Please remember that you must additionally register for the exam via PSSO. The registration deadlines for this can be found on the F10 information pages of the TH Köln.
Discord Server for fast Communication
Discord has been proven as a very effective platform for information sharing, discussions, and consultations. Therefore, Please join the ArchiLab Discord Server at https://discord.gg/YYNYb5whU8. Navigate to channel #rollenzuweisung and click on am. Then you see all channel(s) relevant for this module.

Content

Learning Outcome

In this module, you learn how to analyse stakeholders, constraints, and goals for a planned IT system. You obtain requirements for an IT system using observations, conversations, and documents; all of which will be based on natural-language, and may contain implicit, potentially incomplete, and contradictory information, structure and formalize these information as requirements in a complete und consistent way. You need to prioritize these requirements for software design and implementation, and document the requirements as a specification for a waterfall or agile project.

As a requirements engineer or a business analyst on Master level I can collect and formalize requirements for a software system,

by me ...

so that I can instruct a (potentially external) development team in implementing the software system according to the requirements specification.

Module Structure

The module consists of two parts, which are executed in parallel.

  1. In the method training part, you learn to decide when to use which requirements engineering method in which context. You also reflect on how to recombine and adapt methods for specific situations.
  2. Parallel to the method training, you conduct a case study, where you (in a small sub-team) create a requirements document for a given software system.

Method Trainings

The method trainings follow a process model explained on a dedicated page. Each subteam needs to pick a training block, and prepare the training. I will support you doing so.

Case Study

In this course, each team will pick its own idea for a case study. So, your task in your subteam is: Think about an idea for a startup.

You will face the following situation in this course: You, together with a couple of collegues, play the National Lottery together. You never gave that much thought, but now you have actually won a staggering multi-million jackpot! After having bought houses and expensive cars, you jointly decide to invest the remaining 1 Million Euro into a startup that you will found together in your subteam (the teams A … E from 1) above).

You will discuss the ideas for that startup in your subteam, finally agree on one per subteam, and collect some ideas for it. This idea will be turned into a requirements document during this course.

Tool for documenting requirements

We will use Jamstack-based webtool for documenting the various artefacts belonging to a requirement specification.

Each subteam will be provided with a repository containing the tool, as an empty framework (without content). An example (unfortunately in German) can be found here:

Number of Requirement Artefacts to be Written

When working on the requirements specification for your case study, you (as a subteam) should prepare the following number of artefacts. The numbers are supposed to reflect realistic numbers (within limits). The numbers are my (rough) estimates based on experience. We assume that the software to be written fits in size to a startup (so in the ballpark of 1-2 person years).

Artefact type Min. number per subteam A realistic number would be … How do to compile these artefacts? Available in RE Tool
Stakeholder 4
(each of the customer team should appear in a specific role)
more than that, as many aspects aren’t covered here (e.g. funding) talk to sponsors yes
Stakeholder Role 4 probably more than that (see stakeholders) define role(s) for your stakeholders, then analyse the other data (interview, workshops, survey) yes
System Context Element 8 10-30 Just analyse all data sources (add if something comes up later) yes
Goal 8 not more than 15-20 (“less is more”, as goals should be concise) primary sources are the project description and the sponsor interview, maybe also workshop yes
Interview 1 depends very much what kind of information collection works best; >1 … 10 conduct & evaluate interviews yes
Glossary 16 10 - 30 whenever a business term comes up, define & add it (continuous activity) Mon 9.5.
Domain Model 1 1 base it on your glossary (most important terms defining your domain appearing here) Mon 9.5.
Workshop 1 0 - 10, really depends on the product, and the design approach plan & conduct as per training Mon 16.5.
Survey 1 0 - 1, depends where this makes sense; might be useful e.g. in case of an internal tool, or for a specific user group plan & as per training Mon 16.5.
Scenario 8 20 or more base on the information you have, esp. workshop and interviews Fri 20.5.
Persona 8 10 rule of thumb: create two personas per stakeholder role, based on your information collection Fri 20.5.
Functional Requirement 24 50 - 75 take the essence from your scenarios and the overall information collection, align with goals Fr 03.06.
Nonfunctional Requirement 4 10 - 20 don’t invent stuff - filter what was actually said in your sources Fr 03.06.
Priorisation 1 1 apply to functional requirements Fr 10.06.
Use Case 8 30 - 50 base them on the scenarions and the functional requirements Fr 01.07.
Use Case Diagram 2 ca. 10 cluster the use cases appropriately Fr 01.07.
User Story 16 ca. 100 (assumption 4 developers team, 1 year time) assumption: this the first product backlog, so make UC small, and prioritize! Fr 01.07.
Formal Review 16
(1 per artefact type)
2 - 5, depending on the design approach and the organizational culture; usually, requirements are compiled into one document each customer team makes a formal review of the artefacts (see list above) Fr 01.07.

Note: The numbers above assume a subteam size of 4. We have now subteams who have lost members. In that case, the numbers should be scaled down accordingly. Example: If your team is down to 2 members (from 4), you need to provide only 4 use cases, not 8.

Submission Date

We have agreed in the course that the submission date for the overall specification (in the RE Tool) is 31.07.2022 14.08.2022 (eod). Due to my sick leave, there is a delay in the RE Tool finalization. Therefore, the submission date has been extended by two weeks.

Grading

The grade for this module will is composed in the following way:

Expert Talks

The expert talk will be scheduled on Mon 25.07.2022. Expert talk is 10-15 min, each student for her/hisself. You can safely assume that I will ask …

You should know all artifacts in your subteam’s case study well, but you don’t need to know to the other case studies. There is no need to learn things by heart, you can look them up during the expert talk. There is limited time, though, so you better keep your material organized.

The expert talks will happen remotely (Zoom).

Workshops

Fri 01.04.2022, 10:00 - 14:00: RE kickoff

In this workshop, I will provide you with a motivation for RE. We will sort out all organisational details in order to get the module going. You can read about the content in this slideset.

Workshop Location

Video conference link: https://th-koeln.zoom.us/j/82586381519?pwd=dVNXb0txeWgvR2tuWEM2UXRKUDdYUT09

Goal of the day

You are ready to start.

Agenda

Fri 08.04.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Context (block 1)

Trainings and todo definition for block 1 (Stakeholders, System Context, Goals). You can read about the content in this slideset.

Workshop Location

Video conference link: https://th-koeln.zoom.us/j/82586381519?pwd=dVNXb0txeWgvR2tuWEM2UXRKUDdYUT09

Goal of the day

You know how to analyze the context of a planned software system, and the todos for your team in the RE case study have been clarified.

Agenda

Task until next workshop

Fri 29.04.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Continuous activity (block 2)

The training for Block 2 deals with continuous activities, like glossary, domain model, status model, and quality assurance.

Workshop Location

Room: 0502 (Building LC6, opposite of Schwalbe-Arena)

Goal of the day

You know which artefacts you need to collect throughout the RE process (as an ongoing activity), and which methods and tools to use.

Agenda

Task until next workshop

Fri 06.05.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Workshops & Surveys as a tool for Requirement Capturing (block 3, part 1)

Informal requirements (block 3) comprise artefacts like scenarios and personas, which are not very highly formalized, and techniques to collect data for them. In this workshop, we start looking at workshops and surveys as a way of gathering information.

Workshop Location

Room: 1708 (Building LC4 (library building). Room 1708 is our lab office space, with enough room for small workshops. However, the room is only accessible with by transponder. Thereore, please be at the door left of the library entrance, I will fetch you there. Call me (or a fellow student) by mobile phone in case you should run late.)

Goal of the day

You can plan for your workshop(s) and survey(s), as you have an overview on the different types and their respective benefits.

Agenda

Fri 20.05.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Personas and Scenarios as Informal Requirements (block 3, part 2)

Personas are a suitable tool to characterize important stakeholder roles (groups) in in your case study. Scenarios are like short "stories" describing important activities. Both are informal (and therefore light-weight) ways of describing a software system's functionality.

Workshop Location

Video conference link: https://th-koeln.zoom.us/j/82586381519?pwd=dVNXb0txeWgvR2tuWEM2UXRKUDdYUT09

Goal of the day

You know suitable formats for personas, available types of scenarios, and how to write them based on input from interviews, workshops, and surveys.

Agenda

Fri 03.06.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Functional & Non-Functional (Formal requirements, block 4, part 1)

After the early, "informal" phase of the requirements collection and documentation, requirements need to be formalized and prioritized. Functional and non-functional requirements are basically 1-sentence descriptions of system features or properties. They are an excellent base for later priorization and project planning.

Workshop Location

Video conference link: https://th-koeln.zoom.us/j/82586381519?pwd=dVNXb0txeWgvR2tuWEM2UXRKUDdYUT09

Goal of the day

You know how to "condense" your informal requirements into the standard templates for functional requirements. In addition, you know which types of non-functional requirements exist, and how to elicit them.

Agenda

Fri 10.06.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Requirements Priorization (block 4, part 2)

Completing requirement lists, and prioritizing them

Workshop Location

Room: Innovation Hub (Building LC7 (building right of the passage to Gummersbach station). The Innovation Hub is not open to the public. Thereore, please be at the main entrance, and I will fetch you there. Call me (or a fellow student) bymobile phone in case you should run late.)

Goal of the day

You know the methods to prioritize the functional requirements for your software system, and have applied them to the FRs you specified.

Agenda

Fri 08.07.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Use Cases and Agile Backlog - detailed requirements (block 5)

Creating the artifacts that you give to the implementation teams - use cases or, of you plan an agile project, the agile backlog with user stories.

Workshop Location

Video conference link: https://th-koeln.zoom.us/j/82586381519?pwd=dVNXb0txeWgvR2tuWEM2UXRKUDdYUT09

Goal of the day

You know the concepts "use case" and "user story", and can apply them to a given system specification.

Agenda