The brave new world of design requirements
Despite its success over the last 30 years, the field of Requirements Engineering (RE) is still experiencing fundamental problems that indicate a need for a change of focus to better ground its research on issues underpinning current practices. We posit that these practices have changed significantly in recent years. To this end we explore changes in software system operational environments, targets, and the process of RE. Our explorations include a field study, as well as two workshops that brought together experts from academia and industry. We recognize that these changes influence the nature of central RE research questions. We identify four new principles that underlie contemporary requirements processes, namely: (1) intertwining of requirements with implementation and organizational contexts, (2) dynamic evolution of requirements, (3) emergence of architectures as a critical stabilizing force, and (4) need to recognize unprecedented levels of design complexity. We recommend a re-focus of RE research based on a review and analysis of these four principles, and identify several theoretical and practical implications that flow from this analysis.