Agile Requirements Engineering with Prototyping in Small Software Projects: An Action Research Case

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Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Software and Service Engineering
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Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences
69 + 11
The pace in which businesses evolve, compel them to respond to changes, opportunities and market demand. For software products, it is even more challenging given the evolution of technology and the law of obsolescence. For this reason, agile requirements engineering (RE) provides the industry with several techniques to help coping with those challenges, and agile prototyping is one of them. Several studies focus on showing how these practices and techniques support agile prototyping and validation of requirements for large-scale projects. However, at least to our knowledge, small projects are disregarded, and not enough research is done to show how agile RE techniques support prototyping. The goal of this thesis was to investigate how agile RE techniques can support prototyping in small software projects. We used action research on the case of a digital service that promotes sustainable eating experience at lunch restaurants. We conducted brainstorming sessions, interviews, prioritization sessions and prototype reviews. The results are based on open feedback, observation and data coding. Our results show that prototyping can be supported in agile requirements elicitation by techniques such as project documentation analysis, observation, customer journey map, interviews and brainstorming. We also found out that use cases and user stories can support prototyping in requirements analysis and representation. The same goes with requirements prioritization, and by extension extreme prioritization, which helps in planning and lightening the agile prototyping process. Finally, our results show that, when conducted with different project stakeholders, review meetings with a prototype are a good means to get rich feedback for further iterations.
Kauppinen, Marjo
Thesis advisor
Kujala, Sari
agile RE, RE techniques, action research, agile prototyping
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