72 fundamentals of requirements negotiation

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7.2 Fundamentals of Requirements Negotiation Contradictory requirements cause conflicts. If there is no consent among the stakeholders regarding the requirements and thus the requirements cannot be implemented collectively in the sys- tem, a conflict arises between the contradictory requirements as well as between the stakeholders that demand contradictory requirements. For example, one stakeholder could demand the system to shut down in case of a failure, whereas another stakeholder could require the system to restart. Risks and opportunities of conflicts The acceptance of a system is threatened by unresolved conflicts because unresolved conflicts cause the requirements of at least one group of stakeholders to not be implemented. In the worst case, a conflict causes stakeholder support to cease, causing the development project to fail (cf. [Easterbrook 1994] ). Other than posing risks, conflicts can also be an opportunity for requirements engineering because conflicts between stakeholders require a solution that can potentially help discover new ideas for development and can illustrate different options (cf. [Gause and Weinberg 1989] ). Therefore, treating and resolving conflicts openly dur- ing requirements engineering can increase acceptance. Goal of requirements negotiation The goal of negotiation is to gain a common and agreed-upon under- standing of the requirements of the system to be developed among all rel- evant stakeholders. Reducing costs and risks in late phases Requirements validation and negotiation is an activity that must be performed (to a varying degree of intensity) throughout the entirety of requirements engineering. The validation and negotiation of requirements therefore causes additional effort and therefore additional costs. However, the advantages gained by performing requirements validation and negotiation as described in the previous sections (reduction of overall cost, increase in acceptance, supporting creativity and innovations) is usually significantly higher than the costs that arise due to the increased effort.
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7.3 Quality Aspects of Requirements 91 7.3 Quality Aspects of Requirements A major aim of using quality criteria (e.g., completeness, understandabil- ity, agreement) in requirements validation is to be able to check require- ments systematically (see section 1.1.2 ). In order to assure an objective and consistent validation, it is necessary that each quality criterion is concre- tized and refined. In correspondence with the overall goals of the require- ments engineering process, the validation is carried out with the following goals: Content: Have all relevant requirements been elicited and documented with the appropriate level of detail? Documentation: Are all requirements documented with respect to the predetermined guidelines for documentation and specification?
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