The DIFFC model: Addressing documentation challenges in Large-Scale Agile Requirements Engineering
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Agile Requirements Engineering (RE) addresses several challenges in plan-driven RE but poses new challenges such as minimal documentation. With less focus on documentation and more focus on developing working software, documentation tends to be overlooked. In this research, we sought to address the challenges found in documentation by exploring the impact of Agile RE activities on the documentation in multi-team software projects. We conduct documentation analyses and eight semi-structured interviews with experts from two multi-team Agile Software Development (ASD) projects. The findings address the variations in how ASD is adopted at scale and the RE activities that are embedded in these practices as well as the documentation artefacts used. We identify the challenges and strengths facing the documentation artefacts and the documentation processes within the teams. Previous studies on software process initiatives address process improvement in agile teams but hardly address the issues found in the documentation. Therefore, we propose the DIFFC model, a lightweight treatment that focuses on the strengths of feedback within agile teams. Our model is validated via an experiment in two multi-team software projects. As a first step, the results are promising with potential for improvement in future research. Our treatment may assist practitioners in addressing the issues found in their documentation and improving their documentation processes.
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