Managing Software Requirements Changes through Change Specification and Classification

Shalinka Jayatilleke, Richard Lai, Karl Reed

Software requirements changes are often inevitable due to the changing nature of running a business and operating the Information Technology (IT) system which supports the business. As such, managing software requirements changes is an important part of software development. Past research has shown that failing to manage software requirements changes effectively is a main contributor to project failure. One of the difficulties in managing requirements changes is the lack of effective methods for communicating changes from the business to the IT professionals. In this paper, we present an approach to managing requirements change by improving the change communication and elicitation through a method of change specification and a method of classification. Change specification provides a way such that communication ambiguities can be avoided between business and IT staff. The change classification mechanism identifies the type of the changes to be made and preliminary identification of the actions to be taken. We illustrate the usefulness of the methods by applying them to a case study of course management system.