Requirements Engineering at a Distance - Adapting the Requirements Engineering process to accommodate different Sourcing Strategies in a Structured Project Environment
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This thesis reports on requirements engineering in the context of sourcing strategies in a structured project environment. We concentrated on four common types of sourcing strategy: offshore outsourcing, offshore insourcing, onshore outsourcing and onshore insourcing, where the latter is only used as a reference. Both requirements engineering and sourcing strategies are a continual source for project failure, yet no concrete set of practices of requirements engineering exists to adapt to a specific sourcing strategy. The aim of this thesis is to evaluating the possibility of such a list and creating best practices for requirements engineering adaptation. The research methods are based on the Technology Transfer Model to create a solution based on both academia and industry best practices. To that end, the steps of this model are applied with initial industry workshops and discussions to ground the current issue followed by alternating two rounds of literature research and two rounds of interviews, with three experts interviewed for each round. The latter was carried out by taking the Dutch cable company Ziggo as a case study, which performs projects in a structured environment by using a method compatible with Prince2. The results from this research provide evidence that a requirements engineering practice can be adapted to a specific sourcing strategy. The relation between adaptation and distance is direct; increases in sourcing strategy distance also increases the number of requirements engineering practices suggested. Accounting for incompatible techniques, a framework was created for offshore outsourcing with 48 best practices, offshore insourcing with 32 best practices and onshore outsourcing with 11 best practices. These sets of techniques can be used in a practical setting, picking and choosing which has most value for a specific case or project to overcome the difficulty aspects of using a sourcing strategy.