A product management challenge: Creating software product value through requirements selection

Sebastian Barney, Aybüke Aurum, Claes Wohlin

Journal of System Architecture, 54(6):576–593, June 2008


Fulltext: PDF

Publish DOI: 10.1016/j.sysarc.2007.12.004

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It is important for a software company to maximize value creation for a given investment. The purpose of requirements engineering activities is to add business value that is accounted for in terms of return-on-investment of a software product. This paper provides insight into the release planning processes used in the software industry to create software product value, by presenting three case studies. It examines how IT professionals perceive value creation through requirements engineering and how the release planning process is conducted to create software product value. It also presents to what degree the major stakeholders’ perspectives are represented in the decision making process. Our findings show that the client and market base of the software product represents the most influential group in the decision to implement specific requirements. This is reflected both in terms of deciding the processes followed and the decision-making criteria applied when selecting requirements for the product. Furthermore, the management of software product value is dependent on the context in which the product exists. Factors, such as the maturity of the product, the marketplace in which it exists, and the development tools and methods available, influence the criteria that decide whether a requirement is included in a specific project or release.