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RE Challenges, Causes & Impacts in Distributed Agile Software teams.


In the current era, Agile software development (ASD) has taken great consideration in software projects by software organizations around the globe. Requirements Engineering (RE) is one of the most significant and initial phases of software development life cycle (SDLC). Requirements gathering is a complete engineering and a profoundly serious job. The success of the product is primarily based on well understood requirements. To finalize, complete, consistent, correct, and unambiguous software requirements a complete requirement engineering process is required and since it is a process, so it is obvious that it has distinct phases to have final requirements mutually agreed by all the stakeholders.


It is quite evident from different available literature that agile software development is still facing some challenges in carrying out the successful and timely software project implementations which results in low quality end project and also the delay in projects. I tried to identify all important requirement engineering challenges, causes, and impacts while using agile development model especially in large scale distributed software projects in different countries, different project types with different project roles.


There are some common RE challenges in Distributed Agile teams that were observed.

Agile software development works on the principles of lean, eliminating the waste from the system, requirements prioritization. As the size of agile team is small so whole team is involved in requirements engineering process like elicitation, analysis, negotiation, specification, management and validation whereas in traditional Requirements Engineering a separate team is involved in RE phase which is more specialist and experts. It is a proven fact that changes in requirements even during the design and coding phase are natural and general practice of customers. So in agile if a small team performs RE activities in short time, it is good for small projects where there is requirements are less voluminous but in large scale projects where there requirements are voluminous then it is most probable that some important requirements especially non-functional are skipped and these are overly critical requirements and some important functional requirements may also be skipped and go down to design and coding levels.

It is difficult to backtrack having some Negative Impacts found on the projects as under:

Conclusion & Future Work:

These challenges were mostly observed in America and Europe Regions and comparatively less stuff is available for Asian region. So further research can be conducted to identify and analyze that whether the same RE challenges exist in Asian & GCC countries because these countries are generating large revenue from Software business and are still progressive and need more improvements in agile practices to make their business more agile as compares to other regions.

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