Toward a better understanding and support of quality requirement documentation in agile software development

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Martti Ahtisaari auditorium (L2), Linnanmaa campus

Topic of the dissertation

Toward a better understanding and support of quality requirement documentation in agile software development

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science Woubshet Behutiye

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Empirical Software Engineering in Software, Systems and Services (M3S)

Subject of study

Software engineering

Opponent

Professor Abrahamsson Pekka, University of Jyväskylä

Custos

Professor Markku Oivo, University of Oulu

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Toward a better understanding and support of quality requirement documentation in agile software development

Software applications and services are essential parts of our daily lives. In today’s vibrant and
rapidly changing business world, ensuring the quick delivery of quality software is important.
Agile software development (ASD) has been widely adopted in the software industry owing to its capabilities for rapidly delivering valuable software. However, the findings from research reveal that ASD faces challenges regarding the documentation and management of quality requirements (QRs). QRs portray how well software performs its functions, and play a crucial role for the success of software. ASD studies reveal that QRs are often neglected, underspecified, not documented, and managed improperly. These often result in increased maintenance costs and system quality degradation. Examining QR documentation is valuable in obtaining a better understanding about the topic. It also helps in building guidelines and models that support QR documentation in ASD, which is a research gap.

This dissertation aims to synthesize a better understanding about the documentation of QRs in ASD and to support QR documentation tasks in ASD. In order to achieve this, it first explored the state of the art of the management of QRs in ASD through a systematic mapping study. Then, it
examined the state of the QR documentation practices in ASD through two multiple case studies.
Next, a design science research methodology was applied to build Agile QR-Doc guidelines.
The dissertation complements the literature with empirical knowledge on QR documentation
practices, tools and artifacts and related stakeholders involved in QR documentation in ASD. It
reveals the significance of documenting QRs, gives insight into aspects practitioners consider
important when documenting QRs and a better understanding about factors influencing QR
documentation in ASD. It also developed Agile QR-Doc guidelines and a model to support QR
documentation in ASD. The guidelines have been validated by practitioners. They identified them as relevant, useful, understandable, and simple enough to use in supporting QR documentation tasks in ASD.

The knowledge from the research can help practitioners proactively approach QR documentation tasks in ASD. For researchers, the dissertation offers the synthesis of empirical knowledge on QR documentation in ASD and identifies opportunities for future studies.
Last updated: 11.10.2022