An evaluation of requirement engineering methods for maintenance projects
Lebo, Julie A.
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Requirements are the foundation of any successful project, as they provide the guidance and constraints to build a system. Requirement engineering is a critical aspect of the software development lifecycle. Work in this field has primarily focused on developing processes and methods for new development projects. However, at least 50% of people that work in the software industry work on maintenance projects and little work has been done to explore the requirement process needs in this area. A small sample of maintenance projects were analyzed to identify the current requirement process utilized, determine strengths and weaknesses of this process, and explore the necessary and desired qualities of a future requirement process. Additionally, the differences between maintenance work and new development were further explored. Criteria were then developed to determine the usefulness and effectiveness of a requirement process for a maintenance project. Existing requirement methodologies were then evaluated to determine a possible strategy that would satisfy the criteria for maintenance work. The current approaches available in the requirement engineering field all satisfy parts of the criteria, but a combination of these strategies should be used in a maintenance setting. Additional work is needed for maintenance requirement process development but existing methodologies provide useful and effective tools that can provide benefits for all types of projects.