Rafael Gorski M. Souza, Paulo Cézar Stadzisz

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Requirements specification has long been recognized as a critical activity in software development processes because of its impact on project risks when poorly performed. A large amount of studies address theoretical aspects, propositions of techniques, and recommended practices for Requirements Engineering (RE). To be successful, RE has to ensure that the specified requirements are complete and correct, what means that all intents of the stakeholders in a given business context are covered by the requirements and that no unnecessary requirements are introduced. However accurate capturing business intents of the stakeholders remains a challenge and it is a major factor of software project failures. This paper presents a novel approach referred to as “Problem-Based Software Requirements Specification” aiming at improving the quality of the software requirements specification in the sense that the stated requirements provide suitable answers to real customers’ business issues. In this approach, knowledge about the software requirements is constructed from the knowledge about the customer´s problems. Problem-Based Software Requirements Specification consists in an organization of activities and outcome objects through a process that contains five main steps. It aims at supporting the software requirements engineering team to systematically analyze the business context and specify the software requirements, taking also into account a first glance and vision of the software. In addition to examples, a CRM software case study is presented and discussed.


requirements engineering; software requirements specification; customer problem; customer need