Requirements Engineering and Software Project Success: an industrial survey in Australia and the U.S

June Verner, Karl Cox, Steven Bleistein, Narciso Cerpa


Because requirements engineering is recognized as critical to successful software projects we surveyed a number of software practitioners regarding their software development practices during recent software projects. Relationships between requirements practices and software project outcomes enable us to better understand requirements issues and their relationship with project success. We asked three sets of questions directly related to requirements issues: 1) requirements practices, 2) the sponsor and customers/users, and 3) project management. Our respondents were from business organizations in the U.S. and Australia, and were almost exclusively involved in in-house software development. The most significant factors from each question set were: 1) the requirements were good, 2) there was a high level of Customer/User involvement, and 3) the requirements were managed effectively. Overall, the best predictor of project success was that the requirements were good together with the requirements were managed effectively (93% of projects were predicted correctly). Our survey shows that effective project management is fundamental to effective requirements engineering.


requirements engineering; project success; survey

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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