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Thursday, November 6 • 8:30am - 5:00pm
T5: Eliciting Unstated Requirements

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Have you ever worked on a software project that didn’t result in what the users really wanted? Stakeholders often have requirements that they aren’t aware of. Uncovering them can be challenging and involves ways of thinking not found in more traditional elicitation approaches. It requires probing interviews and expanded use of context information that go well beyond what the requirements engineer typically achieves with a specification-driven process. It requires a method that transforms stakeholders’ tacit knowledge into themes of experience so that insightful and innovative requirements can emerge.

The KJ+ method for eliciting unstated requirements, currently under development by a research team at the Software Engineering Institute, helps determine the unstated needs of the varied stakeholders typical of today’s large, diverse software projects. This method will be scalable to address the needs of multiple categories of stakeholders; be usable by a diverse, non-collocated team of requirements analysts; and result in a more complete set of requirements for subsequent system design, implementation, and sustainment. It can be used to support both traditional requirements specifications and Agile user stories.

This tutorial will present the traditional KJ method for eliciting unstated user needs and the extensions that allow KJ to be used in a virtual environment. Also included are activities integral to learning the KJ+ method:

  • Role-playing interviews to elicit unstated needs and their context
  • Distilling interview notes into context-rich need statements
  • Identifying affinity groups for the statements
  • Deriving unstated needs from the affinity groups
  • Categorizing the unstated needs as must-be’s, satisfiers, or delighters

Practitioners who are concerned with delivering exciting and innovative features will learn how to apply KJ+ in their own projects. Researchers will find the kinds of requirements obtained using KJ+ vs. more traditional approaches of interest.

 Learning Outcomes

  • Appreciate the opportunities lost due to missing requirements
  • Understand how to use the KJ and Kano analysis methods to identify and analyze unstated requirements
  • Understand how to tailor these methods for virtual environments

Speakers
avatar for Mary Beth Chrissis

Mary Beth Chrissis

Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Mary Beth Chrissis is a Senior Member of the Technical Staff at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute. She is currently assisting the Veterans Health Administration with strategic planning and piloting a new requirements elicitation technique called KJ+. She is an author of CMMI for Development: Guidelines for Process Integration and Product Improvement and The Capability Maturity Model: Guidelines for Improving the Software Process... Read More →
avatar for Mike Konrad

Mike Konrad

Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Mike Konrad is a Principal Researcher in the Software Solutions Division who has been with the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) since 1988. His current work includes leading the Elicitation of Unstated Requirements at Scale project and contributing to the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project. Prior to 2013, Konrad was Chief Architect of CMMI and Chair of the CMMI Configuration Control. Konrad... Read More →
avatar for Nancy Mead

Nancy Mead

Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Nancy Mead is a Fellow and Principal Researcher at the Software Engineering Institute and an Adjunct Professor of Software Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently involved in the study of security requirements engineering and the development of software assurance curricula. Mead has more than 150 publications and invited presentations and has a biographical citation in Who’s Who in America. She is a Fellow of the IEEE... Read More →
avatar for Robert Stoddard

Robert Stoddard

Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
Robert Stoddard is a Principal Researcher at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) involved in research and customer work regarding (1) elicitation of unstated requirements at scale, (2) early lifecycle cost estimation, and (3) cybersecurity modeling. Robert is well published over a career spanning 24 years in industry followed by nine years at the SEI. Robert is a doctoral student in engineering management, with previous... Read More →


Thursday November 6, 2014 8:30am - 5:00pm
Grand Station Ballroom 3