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Software Requirements Prioritization Practices in Software Start-ups: A Qualitative research based on Start-ups in India
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Context: Requirements prioritization is used in software product management and is concerned with identifying the most valuable requirements from a given set. This is necessary to satisfy the needs of customers, to provide support for stakeholders and more importantly for release planning. Irrespective of the size of the organization (small, medium and large), requirements prioritization is important to minimize the risk during development. However, few studies explore how requirements prioritization is practiced in start-ups. Software start-ups are becoming important suppliers of innovative and software-intensive products.Earlier studies suggest that requirements discovery and validation is the core activity in start-ups. However, due to limited resources, start-ups need to prioritize on what requirements to focus. If they do it wrong it leads to wasted resources.While larger organizations may afford such waste, start-ups cannot.Moreover, researchers have identified that start-ups are not small versions of large companies and the existing software development practices cannot be transferred directly due to low rigor in current studies.Thus, we planned to conduct an exploratory study on requirements prioritization practices in the context of software start-ups.

Objectives: The main aim of our study is to explore the state-of-art of requirements prioritization practices used in start-ups.We also identify the challenges associated with the corresponding practices and few possible solutions.

Methods: In this qualitative research, we conduct a literature review by referring to many article sources like IEEE Xplore, Scopus, and Google Scholar to identify the prioritization practices and challenges in general. An interview study is conducted by using semi-structured interviews to collect data from practitioners.Thematic analysis was used to analyze the interview data.

Results: We have identified 15 practices from 8 different start-ups companies with corresponding challenges and possible solutions. Our results show mixed reviews in terms of the prioritization practices at start-ups. From the total of 8 companies about 6 companies followed formal methods while in the remaining 2 companies, prioritization was informal and not clear. The results show that value-based method is the dominant prioritization technique in start-ups. The results also show that customer input and return on investment aspects of prioritization play a key role when compared to other aspects.

Conclusions: The results of this study provide an understanding of the various requirements prioritization practices in start-ups and challenges faced in implementing them.These results are validated from the answers found in the literature. The solutions identified for the corresponding challenges allow the practitioners to approach them in a better way. As this study focused only on Indian software start-up companies, it is recommended to extend to Swedish software start-up companies as well to get a broader perspective. Scaling of sample size is also recommended. This study may help future research on requirements engineering in start-ups. It may also help practitioners who have an intention to begin a software start-up company to get an idea of what challenges they may face while prioritizing requirements and can use these solutions to mitigate them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 57
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-15967OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-15967DiVA, id: diva2:1191769
Subject / course
PA2534 Master's Thesis (120 credits) in Software Engineering
Educational program
PAAXA Master of Science Programme in Software Engineering
Presentation
2018-01-23, J1610, Valhallavagen 1, Karlskrona, 13:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-03-29 Created: 2018-03-20 Last updated: 2018-03-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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