Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Computer Science


Dr. Nazim Madhayji


Requirements engineering (RE) and software architecting (SA) are two front end activities in the software development lifecycle which have great impact on the overall success of a software project. Because of the highly communication intensive nature of these activities, different types of communication channel from face to face discussions to email, chat, video conferencing etc., are used for these activities. All types of information discussed during these activities are not possible to document. Information lost during this time might cause problems in later stages. We conducted an industrial survey on 32 software professionals from a total of 23 different companies with 1 to 15 years of industrial experience to investigate the characteristics and impact in terms of introduced rework of information lost during RE and SA due to lack of documentation. Our result shows that the types of information that are lost most frequently during RE and SA due to lack of documentation are: “Issues”, “Rationale, priority, source and assumptions behind requirements” and “Tactics”. Information lost during RE introduces rework in “RE” and “SA” most frequently whereas information lost during SA introduces rework in “Design and coding” and “System integration” most frequently. Also the mediums that have the propensity of losing information if used for communication during RE and SA were identified. This knowledge could help software practitioners to decide which medium to

avoid or to use it with caution in the RE and SA processes and could motivate researchers to venture into other areas of software engineering (such as design, coding, testing, maintenance, etc.) from the point of view of information lost due to lack of documentation. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first work which focuses on characteristics and impact of information lost during RE and SA.



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