Requirements practitioner behaviour in social context: A survey

A. Marnewick, J. H.C. Pretorius, L. Pretorius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of this research paper is to discover the social behaviour of practitioners that causes the communication breakdowns during the requirements engineering process. Requirements emerge from the social interaction and communication between the requirements practitioner and the various stakeholders. The main problems with the requirements engineering process are communication and coordination breakdowns, as well as the lack of domain knowledge or understanding of the problem. These challenges are all related to the social interaction during the requirements engineering process that impacts the quality of requirements. In practice, requirements are still produced with errors which then lead to unsuccessful solutions to problems. The ultimate goal of any practitioner is delivering a solution fit for purpose first time around. If the social patterns of practitioners that deliver quality requirements are known and compared with those that do not deliver quality requirements, individual performance can be adjusted. The results of this study confirmed that quality of requirements is dependent on the communication established between the requirements practitioner and relevant stakeholders. The communication is enabled through the trust relationships between the parties. A description of how practitioners behave during the requirements process is provided. By discovering these interaction patterns, communication can be improved and made more effective. Additionally, the relationships between the practitioners and their stakeholders are described. These trust patterns provide insight into the levels of collaboration, communication and sharing of knowledge between the practitioners and their stakeholders. By identifying these relationship patterns, the value each party receives from the relationships could increase, and the communication breakdowns could be minimised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Requirements
  • Requirements engineering process
  • Survey
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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