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Integrating Collaborative Requirements Negotiation and Prioritization Processes: A Match Made in Heaven Nupul Kukreja Annual Research Review 14 th March.

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Presentation on theme: "Integrating Collaborative Requirements Negotiation and Prioritization Processes: A Match Made in Heaven Nupul Kukreja Annual Research Review 14 th March."— Presentation transcript:

1 Integrating Collaborative Requirements Negotiation and Prioritization Processes: A Match Made in Heaven Nupul Kukreja Annual Research Review 14 th March 2013

2 Outline 1 Motivation 2 High-level overview 3 Background and Related work 4 Two-step Prioritization Approach 5 Evaluation and Results

3 Motivation Not enough time and money to implement all requirements – Need to prioritize requirements w.r.t. budget and schedule constraints High coordination and transaction costs to ascertain requirement priorities or reprioritizing new/changed requirements Too many ties using MoSCoW or 1-10 scoring – Assumes stakeholders can correctly score requirements as per intrinsic value – Difficult to ascertain value of new/changed requirements in relation to others

4 Solution Value-Based Requirements Prioritization (VBRP)! Stakeholders select the most valuable requirements for implementation – “Value lies in the eyes of the beholder” – but can be captured with some effort Decision theory folks working on this for a long time – Some models (e.g. AHP) have been used for requirements prioritization with varying degrees of success Propose a ‘lightweight’ two-step approach based on TOPSIS (Technique of Ordered Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution)

5 Two-step Approach – Overview Prioritize w.r.t. business goals (TOPSIS) Prioritize w.r.t. business value, relative penalty & ease of realization (TOPSIS) Decompose System into MMFs Decompose MMFs into low level requirements

6 Ideal Alternative (S’) TOPSIS (What?) Criterion 1 Criterion 2 Alternative 1 Alternative 2 Non-Ideal Alternative (S*) Aim: Rank order alternatives by their ‘closeness to ideal’ and ‘distance from non-ideal’ Criterion: Has ‘direction of preference’ i.e. more/less of the criterion is preferred Ideal: Best score for each criterion Non-ideal: Worst score for each criterion 6

7 TOPSIS (Why?)

8 8

9 9

10 Winbook A collaborative, social networking based tool for requirements brainstorming similar to facebook… …with requirements organization using color- coded labels similar to Gmail… …to collaboratively converge on software system requirements reaching win-win equilibrium (based on Theory-W)… …by keeping it short and simple like XP’s user stories! 10

11 11


13 0.Goals Articulation & Prioritization WinWin methodology assumes project goals are captured and prioritized before commencing “WinWin Negotiations” Added a “precursor” step for capturing and prioritizing goals prior to initiating negotiations Goals captured in Winbook and prioritized using success sliders 13


15 1.MMF Decomposition Top-down decomposition of system into Minimum Marketable Features (MMF) – Units of software value creation – Components of intrinsic marketable value Prioritize MMFs against project goals: – MMFs scored against each goal on a 1-9 scale (1 = MMF has little to no contribution in realizing the goal; 9 = MMF wholly contributes towards realizing the goal. Absolute scale okay too) – MMF priorities ascertained by underlying TOPSIS algorithm 15

16 16 MMFs are ‘leaves’ of tree

17 17 MMFs


19 2.Win Condition Capture & Prioritization Win Conditions (WCs): Stakeholders’ desired objectives stated in an easy to understand manner and formalized where necessary (“functional” WCs captured in ‘user-story’ format) MMFs decomposed into constituent WCs Win conditions prioritized against: – Business Value (1: low; 9: high) – Relative Penalty (1: low; 9: high) – Ease of Realization (Story-points/Fibonacci scale) WCs priorities also computed by TOPSIS and scaled by MMF they belong to (Similar GUI as previous slide) 19

20 Two-Step Prioritization Goals Success Sliders MMFsGoal 1Goal 2…Goal nRequirements Business Value Relative Penalty Ease of Realization : Influences Priority Score MMFs influenced by business goals Win condition scores influenced by MMFs they belong to Change in goal weights  change in requirement priorities Dynamically (re)prioritizable product backlog Developers can ‘pull’ most valuable requirements from (up-to-date prioritized) backlog

21 Evaluation & Results Two-step approach deployed in software engineering project course (CS577) @ USC since Fall 2011 Empowered teams to perform sensitivity analyses: – Varying goal weights and gauging impact on MMFs/WCs – Varying criteria weights to ascertain high-value, high- risk or complex WCs for prototyping New requirements/changes comparable with existing ones to ascertain optimum scope leading to channelized negotiation sessions 21

22 Evaluation & Results (Cont’d) Ability to have requirements backlog with accompanying rationale for each requirement TOPSIS-Winbook approach provided significant improvements in organizing, updating and accessing captured rationale over previous versions of the WinWin negotiation systems Live traceability from goals to win conditions (and vice versa) vs. static traceability matrix – Makes explicit contribution of MMFs to goals (and consequently WCs to goals) 22

23 Limitations TOPSIS rank reversals – inclusion of spurious alternatives can change prioritization order of requirements – Not a major concern for cooperative teams (not intent on gaming the system) – Cause of concern for negotiation among competitors Hierarchical prioritization may not agree with intuition/gut-feel – Teams manually account for discrepancies Prerequisites/dependencies not handled in current version of Winbook 23

24 Conclusion Two-step prioritization decouples business (goals/MMF) prioritization from individual requirements Ability to quickly gauge impact of changing business goal priorities on individual requirements Provides dynamic reprioritizable product backlog for use in lean/agile/kanban projects 24

25 Integrating a decision theory based prioritization framework with a collaborative requirements negotiation and management tool thus provides a rationale-backed prioritization of requirements allowing the stakeholders to channelize their negotiation and development efforts around the most valuable requirements. A match truly made in heaven… 25

26 Thank you! Questions?

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