Title page for ETD etd-07262001-110924

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lloyd, Wes J.
Author's Email Address wlloyd@acm.org
URN etd-07262001-110924
Title Tools and Techniques for Effective Distributed Requirements Engineering: An Empirical Study
Degree Master of Science
Department Computer Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Edwards, Stephen H. Committee Co-Chair
Rosson, Mary Beth Committee Co-Chair
Arthur, James D. Committee Member
Bowman, Douglas A. Committee Member
  • Groupware
  • Distributed Requirements Engineering
  • Requirements Analysis
  • Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Date of Defense 2001-07-11
Availability unrestricted
Software development teams are often geographically distributed from their

customers and end users. This creates significant communication and coordination

challenges that impact the effectiveness of requirements engineering. Travel costs, and

the local availability of quality technical staff increase the demand for effective

distributed software development teams. In this research an empirical study was

conducted on the application of groupware to facilitate the requirements phase of the

software engineering life cycle. The study considered the impact of the distributed work

environment on requirements engineering process quality, as well as the effectiveness of

requirements elicitation techniques when used in the distributed setting. Through the

examination of the effectiveness of groupware tools, and requirements elicitation

techniques, customer participation is found to be paramount for distributed requirements

engineering. As requirements negotiation becomes more asynchronous in nature, it

appears that customer participation in the elicitation process becomes very important for

process effectiveness. Verbal communication barriers negatively effect customer

participation. Such barriers cause customers to rely upon mediums such as email and text

chat that are very good at reducing social distance, but are less rich in informational


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