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T03: "Agile Requirements Engineering" (Petra Becker-Pechau, Holger Breitling, Stefan Roock)

Agile Requirements Engineering

Tuesday, September 10th from 900 - 1730


For an agile software development project change is something normal. As change occurs without fail, agile processes do not gather all requirement details at the beginning of a project. Instead developers and users learn just enough about the requirements to state the overall goal of the project and to formulate the first requirements in as much detail as necessary. Agile processes replace exhaustively documented requirements by a combination of simple and short requirement descriptions along with high-bandwidth communication between the customer and the developers. This allows to collect the requirements during the complete project, even parallel to implementation. Agile processes provide the project team with techniques to deal with those new or changed requirements rapidly in an organized way.

Following these ideas, eXtreme Programming (XP) and other agile processes promise to remove the burden of unnecessary rules, documents and workflows: "Do the simplest thing that could possibly work".

The tutorial is about the chances and limitations of agile approaches, especially the approach of eXtreme programming. It presents proven adaptations for complex project situations which for example occur if more than one channel for requirements exists or if the project is highly innovative. We show which RE techniques are compatible with agile processes.

Topics addressed

  • What to do when everything is unknown
  • Metaphor: Creating a vision of the future system
  • The role of prototypes
  • How to write stories
  • Planning Game
  • Tracking of stories, acceptance tests
  • Planning Game and requirements tracking in multi channeling applications
  • Integration of XP with other RE methods


  • Introduction to agile processes with focus on eXtreme Programming
  • Practice for requirements engineering with pure XP
  • Challenges for XP's requirement engineering in complex application projects
  • Proven XP adaptations for complex projects' requirements engineering
  • Practice for requirements engineering with adapted XP (may be skipped if we run out of time)
  • Discussion

Intended audience
Practioneers like software developers and project managers in the domain of interactive application system development.
Project experience is assumed. Extreme programming experience is not assumed.
Level: Beginners to intermediate.


Petra Becker-Pechau:
Petra Becker-Perchau

Petra Becker-Pechau is a research assistant at the University of Hamburg and a professional consultant at Apcon Workplace Solutions. She has several years of experience with highly iterative projects (some of them using XP techniques) as a software developer and project manager.

Holger Breitling:
Holger Breitling

Holger Breitling is a research assistant at the University of Hamburg and a professional software architect and consultant at Apcon Workplace Solutions. He is a senior architect of the JWAM framework. He has several years of experience with extreme programming techniques.

Stefan Roock:
Stefan Roock

Stefan Roock is a software chief architect and consultant at Apcon Workplace Solutions with focus on object oriented technologies, architectures and processes. He is one of the founders of the JWAM application framework. He has several years of experience with conventional projects, object oriented projects and extreme programming.

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Last updated: 2002-05-14