Bringing Stakeholders Along for the Ride: Towards Supporting Intentional Decisions in Software Evolution
Alicia M. Grubb, Paola Spoletini, “Bringing Stakeholders Along for the Ride: Towards Supporting Intentional Decisions in Software Evolution.” Proceedings of the 29th International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (REFSQ), LNCS 13975, 2023.
Abstract: [Context and Motivation] During elicitation, in addition to collecting requirements, analysts also collect stakeholders’ goals and the present and historical interests that motivate their goals. This information can guide the resolution of requirements conflicts, support the evolution of requirements when changes occur (e.g., environmental constraints), and inform decisions in software design. [Problem] Unfortunately, this information is rarely explicitly represented and maintained. When a stakeholder is modeled in the literature, the captured information is only part of that stakeholder’s intention (i.e., the goals and the present and historical interests that motivate those goals) and not other requirements documents. In addition, such representations of a stakeholder are not traced and kept aligned with the design and, thus, cannot be used during iterative development and in case of changes. [Principal Idea] To support engineers in making informed decisions during the design, development, and evolution of a system, we propose a framework to collect and maintain intentionality in an efficient and effortless way. [Contributions] To define intentionality, disambiguate it from its use in literature, and position it in relation to similar concepts (i.e., rationale and goals), we conduct a literature review. Based on our derived definition, we present our framework to appropriately include intentionality throughout the stages of a project and the research agenda to realize such a framework.