Analysis of requirements elicitation processes for software development in cross-cultural and remote contexts

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Business | Master's thesis
Date
2024
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Business analytics
Language
en
Pages
87 + 9
Series
Abstract
Requirements Elicitation (RE) is a critical practice of software development where the foundations of the development are laid. When it is done well, it can make a strong and clear structure for the development, but lacking RE can make software development work highly difficult and even cause it to fail. Numerous different RE techniques exist, each of which possesses its characteristics, most potential use scenarios, and downsides. This makes understanding different techniques important. Cross-cultural and remote work has increased significantly in recent years in software development work. Thus, researching the effect of these factors in RE is topical and important. This study consists of an extensive literature review as well as a case study as an empirical research method. The case study was conducted by gathering data through semi-structured interviews with the case company’s employees who work with RE in different roles. The interviews focused on the RE practices in the case company and the effect of cross-cultural and remote factors on it. The findings of this study show that the RE process can be done through numerous techniques that can be chosen according to their characteristics and the situation. Cross-cultural and remote factors play a significant role in RE creating benefits like enhanced efficiency and lower costs, but also create challenges in areas like language, communication, and trust. The study also found that to increase the possibilities to create a successful RE process these factors should be taken into account and challenges should be mitigated through actions like thorough documentation and communication as well as increasing trust between stakeholders and different locations and cultures. Through the case study and literature, it was found that many similarities exist in RE practices between these two areas, but some notable differences and insights could benefit both areas. Careful inspection and selection of RE methods were found to have significant potential benefits in both areas, but choosing the techniques differs between the literature and the case company’s practices. Cross-cultural and remote factors were found to have a large impact on RE processes also in the case company.
Description
Thesis advisor
Penttinen, Esko
Keywords
requirements elicitation, cross-cultural teams, software development, remote work, agile
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Citation