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 Organization
As workshops throughout the semester, 01.04.2022 - 08.07.2022
Hybrid (
ILIAS Course for the Module
Module Registration Procedure
Please just join the ILIAS course mentioned above. Deadline for registering is 01.04.2022. Please keep in mind that in addition you also need to register for the exam in PSSO. The deadlines for this you find on the information pages of 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 Navigate to channel #rollenzuweisung and click on am. Then you see all channel(s) relevant for this module.


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.


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

(more detailed criteria will follow)


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.

Goal of the day

You are ready to start.


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.

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.


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.


Task until next workshop

Fri 06.05.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Requirements capturing methods (block 3)

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 with the


Fri 20.05.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Informal Requirements workshops (block 3)

Workshops conducted, todos for evaluation and documentation clarified

Fri 03.06.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Formal Requirements (block 4)

Trainings done

Fri 10.06.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Formal Requirements priorization (block 4)

Completing requirement lists, and prioritizing them

Fri 01.07.2022, 10:00 - 17:00: Detailed requirements (block 5)

All trainings done, todos defined