Managing software requirements : organizational and political challenges
Author(s)Rodriguez, Laurie L., 1976-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program.
Charles P. Coleman.
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Requirements management is an extremely critical and challenging part of the software development process. Correctly capturing these requirements is necessary for the user to be satisfied with the final product. Many instances of inadequate requirements management result in subsequent problems with the final product and have organizational sources. The goal of this research is to better understand the organizational processes and problems associated with software requirements management within NASA's human-rated space programs through interviews with experienced professionals within this organization. Some of the major themes that resulted from the expert interviews include: * Software engineering practices, such as the CMM, are starting to be implemented for the larger programs at NASA, however these practices have not been equally pervasive in all parts of the organization. * The main reason for lack of requirements management at NASA is not enough time or people available for the activity. * The reason that was most cited for requirements management tools not being used effectively is that these tools are too manpower intensive for NASA's current organizational situation, and require documentation that is not available. * To achieve improvements in requirements management NASA should hire more people with computer science backgrounds who also have an understanding of aerospace systems. * The lack of complete documentation on NASA projects, means that complete system testing cannot happen. * Requirements creep can happen at NASA because higher level customers do not always have a complete technical understanding of a subsystem or component that is(cont.) being developed, and the designers may interpret or change a requirement without consulting the customer. * NASA often deals with managing relationships between different subcontractors who have responsibility for different parts of the software lifecycle, and each subcontractor has its' own interests and stake in the final outcome of the system. It is important that NASA adequately manages the requirements between these parties to ensure that the customer's system requirements do not become distorted by the political interests of the subcontractors. Finally some recommendations for further research in this area are made. Thesis Supervisor: Charles P. Coleman
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics; and, (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, Technology and Policy Program, 2004.Includes bibliographical references (p. 31-32).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics., Technology and Policy Program.