Organisation and Communication Problems in Automotive Requirements Engineering
Journal article, 2018
Project success in the automotive industry is highly influenced by Requirements Engineering (RE), for which communication and organisation structure play a major role, much due to the scale and distribution of these projects. However, empirical research is scarce on these aspects of automotive RE and warrants closer examination. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to identify problems or challenges in automotive RE with respect to communication and organisation structure. Using a multiple-case study approach, we collected data via 14 semi-structured interviews at one car manufacturer and one supplier. We tested our findings from the case study with a questionnaire distributed to practitioners in the automotive industry. Our results indicate that it is difficult but increasingly important to establish communication channels outside the fixed organisation structure and that responsibilities are often unclear. Product knowledge during early requirements elicitation and context knowledge later on is lacking. Furthermore, abstraction gaps between requirements on different abstraction levels leads to inconsistencies. For academia, we formulate a concrete agenda for future research. Practitioners can use the findings to broaden their understanding of how the problems manifest and to improve their organisations.
Automotive Requirements Engineering