Requirements Prioritisation for Incremental and Iterative Development

Requirements Prioritisation for Incremental and Iterative Development

D. Greer (Queens University Belfast, UK)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-506-1.ch007


The problems associated with requirements prioritisation for an incremental and iterative software process are described. Existing approaches to prioritisation are then reviewed, including the Analytic Hierarchy Process, which involves making comparisons between requirements and SERUM, a method that uses absolute estimations of costs, benefits, and risks to inform the prioritisation process. In addition to these, the use of heuristic approaches is identified as a useful way to find an optimal solution to the problem given the complex range of inputs involved. In particular genetic algorithms are considered promising. An implementation of this, the EVOLVE method, is described using a case study. EVOLVE aims to optimally assign requirements to releases, taking into account: (i) effort measures for each requirement and effort constraints for each increment; (ii) risk measures for each requirement and risk limits for each increment; (iii) precedence constraints between requirements (where one requirement must always be in an earlier or the same increment as another); (iv) coupling constraints between requirements (where two or more must be in the same increment); and (v) resource constraints (where two or more requirements may not be in the same increment due to using some limited resource). The method also handles uncertainty in the effort inputs, which are supplied as distributions and simulated using Monte Carlo simulation before carrying out the genetic algorithm operations. In addition to handling uncertainty, EVOLVE offers several advantages over existing methods since it handles a large range of factors. The overall implementation of the method allows the inputs to be changed at each iteration, and so better fits reality where requirements are changing all the time.

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