Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Computer Science


Nazim H. Madhavji


Both researchers and practitioners have emphasized the importance of learning from past experiences and its consequential impact on project time, cost, and quality. However, from the survey we conducted of requirements engineering (RE) practitioners, over 70\% of the respondents stated that they seldom use RE lessons in the RE process, though 85\% of these would use such lessons if readily available. Our observation, however, is that RE lessons are scattered, mainly implicitly, in the literature and practice, which obviously, does not help the situation. We, therefore, present ``maps” of RE lessons which would highlight weak (dark) and strong (bright) areas of RE (and hence RE theories). Such maps would thus be: (a) a driver for research to ``light up” the darker areas of RE and (b) a guide for practice to benefit from the brighter areas. To achieve this goal, we populated the maps with over 200 RE lessons elicited from literature and practice using a systematic literature review and survey. The results show that approximately 80\% of the elicited lessons are implicit and that approximately 70\% of the lessons deal with the elicitation, analysis, and specification RE phases only. The RE Lesson Maps, elicited lessons, and the results from populating the maps provide novel scientific groundings for lessons learnt in RE as this topic has not yet been systematically studied in the field.