[Context and motivation]
In market-driven product development of software intensive products large numbers of requirements threaten to overload the development organization. It is critical for product management to select the requirements aligned with the overall business goals, product strategies and discard others as early as possible. Thus, there is a need for an effective and efficient method that deals with this challenge and supports product managers in the continuous effort of early requirements triage [1, 2] based on product strategies. This paper evaluates such a method – A Method for Early Requirements Triage Utilizing Product Strategies (MERTS), which is built based on the needs identified in literature and industry.
The research question answered in this paper is “If two groups of subjects have a product strategy, one group in NL format and one in MERTS format, will there be a difference between the two groups with regards to effectiveness and efficiency of requirements triage?” The effectiveness and efficiency of the MERTS were evaluated through controlled experiment in a lab environment with 50 software engineering graduate students as subjects.
It was found through results that MERTS method is highly effective and efficient.
The contribution of this paper is validation of effectiveness and efficiency of the product strategies created through MERTS method for requirements triage, prior to industry trials. A major limitation of the results is that the experiment was performed with the graduate students and not the product managers. However, the results showed that MERTS is ready for industry trials.