OpenReq will revolutionize the quality and efficiency of Requirements Engineering by developing a new recommendation and decision methods inspired by advances in recommender systems, data and text mining, decision-making techniques, social networks, knowledge-based systems, semantic technologies, requirements reuse, interdependency detection, and latest approaches to user participation.
OpenReq supports communities and single stakeholders in the gathering and management of software requirements. Those stakeholders include requirements analysts, project managers, software architects and developers, end-users, tool vendors, researchers, software-enabled businesses, and standardization bodies. Moreover, more unstructured bodies, like open source communities can benefit from the approaches proposed in the OpenReq framework.
Requirements Engineering (RE) is considered one of the most critical activities in ICT projects, and poorly implemented RE is a significant risk for project failure. Requirements are the basis for all subsequent development, testing, deployment, and maintenance activities. Stakeholders typically have different backgrounds (as legal, management, technical, etc.) and thus "speak different languages" and have different priorities and expertise.
Therefore, RE is inherently multi-disciplinary. Moreover, due to the more and more distributed nature of software projects, regular face-to-face meetings are becoming harder to organize and stakeholders must increasingly rely on collaborative tools. Most traditional requirements management tools fail to provide adequate support for large distributed projects, even though many of them claim to do so. Multiple stakeholders can work together to define requirements, but no real support for solving conflicts, mediating tacit knowledge, or organizing stakeholders and their needs into groups exist. These are some of the reasons that makes individual as well as group decisions about the software, its features, and services much more challenging.
The OpenReq project will address requirements engineering challenges by developing an innovative, open source recommendation and decision support platform that assists distributed stakeholders to collaborate in requirements-related tasks. OpenReq will allow single stakeholders, groups of stakeholders, and communities to develop, discuss, negotiate, estimate, configure, and manage requirements in a context-aware and personalized way. It will also bridge the gap between the development and usage of software-enabled products and services: by taking the user community as part of the innovation process and by continuously observing and involving stakeholders and end users and tightening their commitment in the decision-making.
Therefore, OpenReq will offer support in decision making at 360 degrees, where the end users play an important role in undertaking requirement engineering activities by providing their feedback in an explicit way-for example via social media of e-democracy platforms-or implicitly by letting the platform studying their behaviours and patterns. This will result in releasing feature that better represents the needs of the users in shorter time. In the long-term, the impact of OpenReq is to minimize the effort required by requirements engineering tasks by reusing patterns and assets produced during previous projects.