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Issues and Challenges of Requirement Elicitation in Large Web Projects.

Issues and Challenges of Requirement Elicitation in large Web projects.

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Requirements elicitation is a part of the requirements engineering process, usually followed by analysis and specification of the requirements. Requirement elicitation is the most critical phase of software development cycle. Its purpose to identify the system boundaries and specify the functional and behavioural properties of a system. The success of this process base on identifying the relevant stakeholders (end users, customers, decision-makers or developers) and discovering their needs. The stakeholders are mostly from different background and have different goals, so it is vital to include the entire stakeholders in information gathering otherwise certain viewpoints are never exposed. There are number of difficulties in achieving the requirement elicitation goal and it is important for the analyst to consider entire relevant factors to better understand the application domain, system constraint, business needs and stakeholders.

Analysts have different challenges regarding requirement elicitation process that involve in large projects, only complete and structured requirements make these projects more reliable. The key issue for an analyst is to provide the product that fulfils the need of the end user. Furthermore these projects consume more time and has high development cost, so the failure of these project lead to user dissatisfaction, increase maintenance cost and loss of reputation of project team.

Challenge/problem focus

High development resources are required for large web projects, if the requirements of such projects are unrefined and inconsistent; it may cause full project failure or would not meet the user requirements. So problem is how to elicit the user requirements? While requirements gathering how to overcome the barriers in communication? What procedures/ techniques should be used for requirement identification and web content organization?

The target domain process of requirement elicitation is very crucial in project development, because unstructured requirements can easily lead to large amounts of rework when the customer simply cannot accept a system the way it was developed. That's why it is very important to get structured and consistent user requirements for successful system development.


The research goal is to identify the obstacles in requirement elicitation process in large web projects, map these barriers to the requirement elicitation techniques, and apply appropriate technique(s) for requirement identification to assist the system builders of web projects. The success or failure of a system development effort depends heavily on the quality of the requirements. The quality of the requirements is greatly influenced by techniques employed during requirements elicitation, because elicitation is all about learning the needs of users, and communicating those needs to system builders. How we select an appropriate elicitation technique out of the plethora of available techniques greatly affects the success or failure of requirements elicitation. More than 50 percent projects fail due to bad or inconsistent requirement identification, so our research contribution would be the a roadmap to consistent requirements gathering to build quality system.

Research questions:

RQ1: What are communication obstacles in requirement elicitation and how do you tackle in large web projects?

RQ2: Which technique or set of techniques of the requirement elicitation process appropriate for large web projects?

RQ3: How do these techniques help the analysts in requirements gathering, evaluation and integration in large web projects?


The selected topic is related to the field of requirement engineering, So, qualitative approach will best explore the theme of domain. It involves the use of qualitative data, such as literature study, interviews and participants observation, to understand and explain the actual problem.


Proposal: 2009-09-14 - 2009-10-05

Literature Review: 2009-09-15 - 2009-09-25

Study and Analysis: 2009-10-06 - 2009-10-24

Case Writing: 2009-10-25 - 2009-12-07

Finalization: 2009-12-07 - 2009-12-18

Deadline: 2009-12-18

Presentation: January 2010

(Graphical schedule given below.)

Relevant references

[1]. Castro-Herrera, C., Duan, C., Cleland-Huang, J., Mobasher, B., A Recommender System for Requirements Elicitation in Large-Scale Software Projects. In: ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, Data Mining track, Honolulu, HI, March 2009.

[2]. Zhang Z., Effective Requirements Development - A Comparison of Requirements Elicitation Techniques. INSPIRE 2007, Tampere, Finland ,2007

[3]. Jones, C., Patterns of Software Failure and Success, Thomson, 1996.

[4]. Hickey, A., and A. Davis, “The Role of Requirements Elicitation Techniques in Achieving Software Quality,” Requirements Eng. Workshop: Foundations for Software Quality (REFSQ), 2002.

[5]. Avison, D.,Fitzgerald, G.: Information Systems Development: Methodologies, Techniques and Tools. McGraw-Hill, Berkshire, UK, 2003.

[6]. Davis A., Dieste, O., Hickey, A., Juristo, N. and Moreno A, Effectiveness of Requirements Elicitation Techniques, IEEE Intn'l Requirements Engineering Conf., (Minneapolis, MN, Sept. 2006), pp.179-188.

[7]. Duan C., Clustering and its Application in Requirements Engineering, Technical Report #08-001, School of Computing, 2008

[8]. Coughlan J., Mark L. & Robert D. M., Communication issues in requirements elicitation: a content analysis of stakeholder experiences, 2003, pp.525-537.

[9]. Noraini Che Pa and Abdullah Mohd Zin, Requirements Elicitation: A Communication Model for Developer and Customer.Proceeding of the 2nd Malaysian Software Engineering Conference ,2006, pp.136-141.

[10]. J.C. Sampaio and A. P. P. Gilvaz, "Requirements Elicitation Driven by Interviews: The Use of Viewpoints", Proceedings of 18th International Workshop on Software Specification and Design (IWSSD-8) , 1996, pp.85-94.

[11]. Davey B. and Cope C. Requirements Elicitation - What's Missing? Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology 5, 2008 pp.543-551.

[12]. Hickey A, Davis AM, Elicitation technique selection:

how do experts do it? In: Proceedings of the 11th IEEE international

requirements engineering conference (RE'03), Monterey,

California, 2003

[13]. Leite, J & Gilvaz, A, 'Requirements Elicitation Driven by Interviews, The Use of Viewpoints', 8th International Workshop on Software Specification and Design, Paderborn, Germany, March 1996, pp.22-23.

[14]. J. Goguen and C. Linde, "Techniques for Requirements Elicitation", Proc. RE'93 - First IEEE Symposium on Requirements Engineering, San Diego, 1993, 152-164

[15]. O. Dieste, N. Juristo, F. Shull, 2008,Understanding the Customer: What Do We Know About Requirements

Elicitation? ”, IEEE Software, Apr. 2008, 25(2), pp. 11-13

[16]. Laporti, V., Borges M. R. S., Braganholo, V. P., A Collaborative Approach to Requirements Elicitation. In: International Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work in Design, 2007, Melbourne, Australia. Swinburne Press, v. 2, 2007, pp.734-739

Project Schedule