Evidence-Based Software Engineering

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Software Engineering Evidence Map

One of the goals of this website is to document secondary studies of software engineering topics. This page classifies SLRs and mapping studies using the knowledge areas defined by the SWEBOK.

CategoryStudiesStudy Details

[S23] Effectiveness of Requirements Elicitation Techniques: Empirical Results Derived from a Systematic Review

2006, Davis, Alan and Dieste, Oscar and Hickey, Ann and Juristo, Natalia and Moreno, Ana M.

Source: The impact of search procedures for systematic literature reviews – A participant-observer case study

This paper reports a systematic review of empirical studies concerning the effectiveness of elicitation techniques, and the subsequent aggregation of empirical evidence gathered from those studies. The most significant results of the aggregation process are as follows: (1) Interviews, preferentially structured, appear to be one of the most effective elicitation techniques; (2) Many techniques often cited in the literature, like card sorting, ranking or thinking aloud, tend to be less effective than interviews; (3) Analyst experience does not appear to be a relevant factor; and (4) The studies conducted have not found the use of intermediate representations during elicitation to have significant positive effects. It should be noted that, as a general rule, the studies from which these results were aggregated have not been replicated, and therefore the above claims cannot be said to be absolutely certain. However, they can be used by researchers as pieces of knowledge to be further investigated and by practitioners in development projects, always taking into account that they are preliminary findings.
Our Assessment: Davis et al. review 26 comparative studies of elicitation methods. They found that structured interviews appeared to be the most effective elicitation method, out-performing other more sophisticated methods.
Software RequirementsS23, S26, S27, S63
Software DesignS1, S25, S31, S38
Software ConstructionS18, S43, S61
Software TestingS10, S17, S28, S62
Software MaintenanceS24, S30
Software Configuration Management -
Software Engineering ManagementM4, S5, S7, S8, S11, S12, S14, S21, S22, S29, S45, S46, S53, S66
Software Engineering ProcessesS3, S41, S47, S49, S50
Software Engineering Tools and MethodsS60, S64, S65
Software QualityM1, S15
Unclassified -