University of Oulu

Melo, A., Fagundes, R., Lenarduzzi, V., & Santos, W. B. (2022). Identification and measurement of Requirements Technical Debt in software development: A systematic literature review. Journal of Systems and Software, 194, 111483.

Identification and measurement of Requirements Technical Debt in software development : a systematic literature review

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Author: Melo, Ana1; Fagundes, Roberta1; Lenarduzzi, Valentina2;
Organizations: 1University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
2University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-11-16


Context: Requirements Technical Debt are related to the distance between the ideal value of the specification and the actual implementation of the system, which are consequences of strategic decisions for immediate gains, or unintended changes in context. To ensure the evolution of the software, it is necessary to to manage TD. Identification and measurement are the first two stages of the management process; however, they are poorly explored in academic research in requirements engineering.

Objective: We aimed to investigating which evidence helps to strengthen the TD requirements management process, including identification and measurement.

Method: We conducted a Systematic Literature Review through manual and automatic searches considering 7499 studies from 2010 to 2020, and including 66 primary studies.

Results: We identified some causes related to Technical Debt requirements, existing strategies to help in the identification and measurement, and metrics to support the measurement stage.

Conclusion: The studies on Requirements Technical Debt are still preliminary, especially regarding management software. Yet, however, the interpersonal aspects that prove difficult in the implementation of such activities are not sufficiently addressed. Finally, the provision of metrics to help measure technical debt is part of the contribution of this search, providing insights into the application in its requirements context.

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Series: Journal of systems and software
ISSN: 0164-1212
ISSN-E: 1873-1228
ISSN-L: 0164-1212
Volume: 194
Article number: 111483
DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2022.111483
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: The authors would like to thank Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brazil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001, for the financial support for the development of this research.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CC BY license (