Business Risk Analysis: Obsolescence Management in Requirements Engineering

Business Risk Analysis: Obsolescence Management in Requirements Engineering

Jasbir Virdi (University of Toronto, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0155-0.ch006
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Up until now, efficient and applicable project methodologies, process improvement methodologies, product improvement methodologies, and relevant software engineering best practices have been developed and successfully implemented in many software projects in a variety of industries. However, projects still fail. Most of the project failure factors are diagnosed; however, some may fall through holes or gaps and get overlooked due to unknown reasons. The basis of this research study is a comprehensive questionnaire with relevant and probing questions that have collected data on obsolescence of requirements. Through analysis of the gathered data and information, this study aimed to present these risk factors, their impact, and a possible way to measure them. The critical factors identified and the result of this research project can be a trigger to conduct further in-depth analysis of project risks based on categories of projects (maintenance & support projects, development projects, data conversion projects, etc.), or rather, analysis of projects based on the business area/function. This research study is another attempt to assist in turning IT project failures into project successes.
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2. Problem Statement

Meeting business needs, client requirements, or business requirements is the focal objective of any software project, however a significant number of projects fail to meet those requirements. The three main visible causes are summarized to be a change in budget, time, and/or scope of the project (Schwalbe, 2006) .The importance of assessing the cause has actually to do with a deeper analysis of the failure. Software systems can become highly complex to build and developing complex systems must start with the right approach. The foremost step in undertaking a big IT venture is to account for obsolete requirements during the planning, analysis, and requirements elicitation phase so that a reduction if not total elimination of both financial as well as technical risks can be attained. If obsolete requirements are identified and addressed in the initial phases of the project, they will become less costly and more manageable in the later phases. The problem statement of this research project as a result of the above discussion is to understand what obsolescence is and how it can originate in context to IT projects. Data collected as part of this research will assist the investigation of requirements obsolescence in answering what, how, when, and why requirements become obsolete and the relevancy to the size of projects, project management methodologies implemented or otherwise, strength of audit controls and compliances and communication amongst project team members and stakeholders, to name a few.

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