University of Oulu

Woubshet Behutiye, Pertti Seppänen, Pilar Rodríguez, and Markku Oivo. 2020. Documentation of Quality Requirements in Agile Software Development. In Proceedings of the Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE '20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 250–259. DOI:

Documentation of quality requirements in agile software development

Saved in:
Author: Behutiye, Woubshet1; Seppänen, Pertti1; Rodríguez, Pilar1;
Organizations: 1M3S research unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Association for Computing Machinery, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-10-08


Context: Quality requirements (QRs) have a significant role in the success of software projects. In agile software development (ASD), where working software is valued over comprehensive documentation, QRs are often under-specified or not documented. Consequently, they may be handled improperly and result in degraded software quality and increased maintenance costs. Investigating the documentation of QRs in ASD, would provide evidence on existing practices, tools and aspects considered in ASD that other practitioners might utilize to improve documentation and management of QRs in ASD. Although there are some studies examining documentation in ASD, those that specifically investigate the documentation of QRs in depth are lacking.

Method: we conducted a multiple case study by interviewing 15 practitioners of four ASD cases, to provide empirical evidence on documentation of QRs in ASD. We also run workshops with two of the cases, to identify important aspects that ASD practitioners consider when documenting QRs in requirements management repositories.

Result and conclusions: ASD companies approach documentation of QRs to fit the needs of their context. They used tools, backlogs, iterative prototypes, and artifacts such as epic, and stories to document QRs, or utilized face-face communication without documenting QRs. We observed that documentation of QRs in ASD is affected by factors such as context (e.g. product domain, and size) and the experience of practitioners. Some tools used to document QRs also enhanced customer collaboration, enabling customers report and document QRs. Aspects such as levels of abstraction, the traceability of QRs, optimal details of information of QRs and verification and validation are deemed important when documenting QRs in ASD requirements management repositories.

see all

ISBN Print: 978-1-4503-7731-7
Pages: 250 - 259
DOI: 10.1145/3383219.3383245
Host publication: EASE '20: Proceedings of the Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering
Conference: Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This work is partially funded by the Q-Rapids project, European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation funded program under grant agreement N° 732253. We would also like to acknowledge champions in the case companies for facilitating the studies.
EU Grant Number: (732253) Q-RAPIDS - Quality-Aware Rapid Software Development
Copyright information: © 2020 Copyright is held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in EASE '20: Proceedings of the Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering,