Abstract for: Determinants of Requirements Process Improvement Success

Improving the requirements process improvement (RPI) of software projects has become an important area of research and professional practice. This paper highlights the inefficiencies in the RPI that results in poor quality, and escalating cost or schedule. The efficiency with which the changing processes are managed determines how successful a project will be in terms of attaining a satisfactory balance between quality, cost and schedule of the delivered software systems. A number of software development companies suffer from ineffective RPI; therefore there is a need for understanding the underlying structure and explaining the determinants of the RPI success. This facilitates RPI stakeholders in taking informed decisions that would lead to more successful RPI due to improved understanding of the underlying structure and feedback that exists among the RPI success factors. This calls for continuous improvement of the requirements processes by analyzing the relationships and the dynamics that exist amongst the RPI factors for cost effective RPI decisions. The paper presents a system dynamics RPI model validated by practitioners and discusses the insights generated from the model. The authors suggest that the resulting model and the insights generated through sensitivity analysis tests constitute significant contributions towards understanding the factors that determine RPI success.