Completed projects

ReqMoD

Agile Requirements Management With Mobile Devices

In this collaborative project, a requirements management system for mobile devices was developed in cooperation with :engineering methods AG (:em AG) and ConSenses GmbH. Using the smartphone as an efficient tool to capture requirements in an agile and efficient manner, the bridge between task clarification in context situations and requirements management is to be built. The project was funded by the state of Hesse as part of the LOEWE III funding line under the funding code 830/19-150.

Baseline situation

Successful requirements engineering is characterized by complete and traceable documentation of the requirements. This relates in particular to the inclusion of context information of the product to be developed. In reality for complex products, the management (especially the documentation) of requirements is usually carried out using special requirements management software in an office environment. However, the majority of requirements are discovered in the product context (see Figure 1). With the ability to record information in text, image, or sound, mobile devices show great potential to more effectively and efficiently record requirements in context situations. However, in such situations the flow of information is often too large and too fast, so that the collected information either cannot be directly reformulated into requirements or that part of the information cannot be captured. Therefore, the raw information gathered in the context does not usually represent directly usable requirements, but must be condensed into precise and clearly understandable requirements and written down later. In practice, this takes place in the office. Without a direct linkage of the information taken up in the context with elements of the requirement management, it can come however to a not insignificant information loss, which can lead to incomplete or even incorrect requirements.

Figure 1: Requirements management in the office and requirements identification in context

Project Goal

The goal of the project was to develop an offline-capable requirements management system that can be used on mobile devices for agile deployment in different context situations. This includes, above all, the intuitive capture of requirements or requirements-relevant information as well as the direct linking of this information with the existing requirements list.

Results

An architecture model was developed (see Figure 2) based on the requirements and functions determined for a mobile requirements management system. The core of the system is the program ReqMoD (Requirements Management on mobile Devices), which is an offline-capable adaptation of the existing requirements management system ReqMan from :em AG optimized for mobile devices. This system can be fed with context information via suitable programming interfaces or data formats. In this way, ConSenses GmbH has succeeded in feeding measurement data recorded by high-performance sensors directly into the requirements list in ReqMoD with the help of edge devices.

Figure 2: Architecture model for requirements engineering on mobile devices

At pmd, the use of mobile devices for recording context information was investigated. The focus was on the use of cell phone sensors as a source of information and the adaptation of classical requirements engineering methods for use on mobile devices. Among other things, a demonstrator app was developed that can be used to create interviews directly from the requirements list and to import the results into the list after they have been conducted. Within the scope of a study, it was demonstrated on the example of two use cases that, on the one hand, the use of mobile devices in requirements gathering in general and, on the other hand, the direct linking of contextual information with known requirements offers significant added value. Compared to conventional methods without methodological support on the mobile device, up to 62.5 % more requirements could be captured and documented or existing requirements qualitatively improved in the same time frame using the app.