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CS605 - Software Engineering II - Lecture Handout 37

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Measuring Change Activity

Measurement of change activity is a way to assess the stability of the requirements and to identify opportunities for process improvement. In this regards, the following could be measured

    • The number of change requests received, open, and closed
    • The cumulative number of changes made including added, deleted, and modified requirements
    • The number of change requests that originated from each source
    • The number of changes proposed and made in each requirement since it was base-lined
    • The total effort devoted to handling changes

    These can then be plotted as shown in the graphs below to get an idea of the stability of the systems. It is important to note that the sooner the requirements come to a stable state after establishing the baseline the better it is for the project. It is also useful to track the source of the requirement changes so that processes governing those areas causing more frequent changes may be strengthened in future projects.

    Measuring Change Activity 1

    Requirement Traceability

    Requirement traceability is a very important consideration for requirement management. It is really hard to manage requirements that are not traceable.

    A Software Requirement Specification (SRS) is traced if the origin of its requirements is clear.  That means that the SRS includes references to earlier supportive documents. An SRS is traceable if it written in a manner that facilitates the referencing of each individual requirement stated therein.

    It is important to trace requirements both ways. That is from origin of a requirement to how it is implemented. This is a continuous process. It is also important that the rationale of requirements must also be traced.  Traceability is important for the purposes of certification, change impact analysis, maintenance, project tracking, reengineering, reuse, risk reduction, and testing. That is it plays an important role in almost every aspect of the project and its life cycle.