The Problem of Consolidating RE Practices at Scale: An Ethnographic Study
Paper i proceeding, 2018

Large-scale requirements engineering contexts often involve hundreds of experts that collaborate to specify the characteristics and functionality of an integrated product. As diverse disciplines and locations are involved, it is not uncommon that the understanding of processes and concepts differs between departments and teams.

In practice, it is challenging to allow for flexibility and diversity between organizational units and at the same time establish consistent practices and sufficient alignment among them. Yet, it is desirable to balance this tradeoff, so that short time to market at reasonable cost can be achieved.

This paper presents an ethnographic study focusing on a three-year project in a large-scale industrial company that tried to consolidate requirements engineering practices and customize a tool solution to the company's needs while maintaining autonomy of individual units.

We present challenges of the company's initiative and share mitigation strategies based on our lessons learned. Specifically, we give indications on when to consolidate and unify, and when to allow for diversity in RE practices.

Industrial requirements engineering

Ethnographic study

Large-scale requirements engineering

Aligning requirements engineering practices


Rebekka Wohlrab

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Software Engineering

Patrizio Pelliccione

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Software Engineering, Software Engineering for Cyber Psysical Systems

Eric Knauss

Software Engineering for Testing, Requirements, Innovation and Psychology

Sarah C. Gregory

Intel Corporation

Proceedings of the 24th International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality

24th International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality
Utrecht, Netherlands,







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