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Software
Requirement Change Impact Analysis.

Abstract
 

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By
the time software engineering has developed well, the process of software
modification uses the new programming models to making alterations in existing
programming frameworks. A noteworthy issue for designers in a developmental
situation is that apparently little changes can swell the entire framework to
cause major effects in different places. Thusly, programmers and software
engineers require some model to see how a change to a product framework will
affect to the other Segments of framework. The Significance of this paper is a
Systematic classification for Software requirement change in Different phases,
in the views of related study, to limit effects of change. The introduced
characterization criteria are easier to implement and exact than proposed in
past work.  

 Introduction. 

There
is no specific definition of software change But it can be defined as” associated
risks involve with the change, which causes the effects on resources, effort, and
time”. Another definition states “to identify the expected results of a change,
or which component is going to modify to accomplish a change. The third one is
“It is the activity to Evaluation of a change, to the source code of a block,
on the other block of the software. In this study there is attempt to provide
the answer of what should be change if there is need of change in the system.
Why changes are made in the specific direction and how they will be implemented
to get the desired functionality and performance of proposed system.

When
there is a need of change or maintenance, impact analysis is a significant move,
and in incremental processes it has more impact. It would calculate the amount
of effort needed to apply a change, describes which software components should
be changed , and assist to recognize test cases which should be reapply and
confirm that the change was made correctly . Impact analysis further gives
answer to the project team of” what if…?” condition, and to suggest possible
other context without apply them. It is obvious in software engineering, the
maintenance takes most cost in most software systems for long-lasting phase in
the lifecycle, where it is calculate that more than 50% cost arise on software
maintenance 6. Therefore, the big cost and time factor can be saved. On the
other hand, the changes apply partially have high chances of risks. They may
create the problem of unintended side effects, generate new types of defects,
and may be unstable, causing the malfunctioning of software.

 

Today’s
evolutionary trend of development and making frequent changes need for changing
software, and it is the routine of architects, programmers, and project leaders
that they make daily changes The question of impact analysis arising from long
period of time and from the past since 1970s the question of maintaining
software and software evolution take the attention of researchers in software
engineering. Bohner and Arnold are the pioneer investigators in the field of
software engineering for impact analysis, and most researchers have adopted the
following definition of impact analysis that “Identifying the potential
consequences of a change, or estimating what needs to be modified to accomplish
a change 2”. Now a days there are many studies available on the currently
discuss topic. Thus there is a need to provide the structure and make it easy
to understand for the researchers, developers, designer and architects working
in the related field.

The
answer of the following question is going to be answer mainly in this study.

o   
Why there is a need of software requirement
change?

o   
What is going to be change in this
process?

o   
How the change process should perform?

o   
What is the impact analysis of software
requirement change?

Another question arises here that why we are
performing software requirement change impact analysis.
The simple answer is that the software engineers get benefited, can plan and
accommodate changes, and trace the effects of changes. On the basis on this
work, before the changes are implemented it is possible to view potential
effects of change .The change management process become easier with high accuracy
level.

This
impact analysis can be uses as the important factor for cost of a change it
mean to allows an assessment of the cost of the change and helps the management
choose tradeoffs between alternative changes further more there is a  benefit of appropriateness of a proposed
change for engineers by evaluating it.

 

 

Figure 1.1 Typical change impact analysis process (Pictorial View)

Scope
and Goals of This Research

The
inspiration to do this research is to decrease the process of software
maintenance causes by software change. Lessening the maintenance cost can be
accomplished by reduce the time between a proposed change, its implementation
and its delivery to customer, without affecting the quality. It permits the
maintenance manager and developers to get the results of a specific change to
the source code. The cost would go higher and higher if the one change causes another
changes. Completing this examination before a change is made permits an
assessment of the cost of the change and enables administration to roll out a
tradeoff between elective improvements.

The
reason to do this work is to describe automated and semi-automated impact
analysis procedures. Experience and skill are always not enough and sufficient
to estimate and perceive all impacts in complex system, so there is a need of
tool and method support. T´oth et al. 10 arranged an experiment to compare
the results of manual impact analysis with results achieved by several
automated techniques, and they emphasize on that there is requirement of solid
tool support. The effort is not only focuses on organizational aspects of
impact analysis or the definition of concepts. This literature is to structure
the field of impact analysis and to provide a classification scheme for technical
approaches

Causes
of Requirement Change

1.               
It has been noted that requirements change
when designer and architects working on the different phases of SDLC. 2 And
these changes causes a project for its success and failure 3. It is a fact
that before the actual deployment of the system more than half of the system’s
requirements will change 4. In most of the cases software are fail due to
poor requirements engineering in which ambiguous and incomplete requirements causes
the need of changes during the SDLC 5. The trend has changed since last few
years for blaming the problem towards identifying the cause of that problem
6. For managing requirement changes we need to identify the root cause of
those changes in order to monitor and manage them effectively and also to find
better solutions. There are numerous causes of requirement change highlighted
in the literature such as change in technology, user preferences, and ever
changing environment 7 8 9. These causes can occur during any phase of
SDLC and in turn lead to changes in the system’s overall requirements. Literature
highlights the fact that early change anticipation in design, having knowledge
of where to look for it and which requirements change more often than the
others, would help in cost saving, reducing overall development time and
increasing the success rate of projects 10. Failing to respond to the
requirements change results in delays, configuration problems, defects, and
overall customer dissatisfaction for not getting the quality product 11.
Agile processes accept the reality of change and manage requirements by
“embracing” rather than “controlling” changes. This fact has now been accepted
by software developers and they consider responding to requirement change as
being more important than focusing on stable requirements for benefits in terms
of cost and development time. According to the survey of Version One 12, 55%
of respondents consider agile methods to be successful in 90- 100% of cases.
Freezing the requirements in the early phases of SDLC would not provide the
actual benefits required by the stakeholders. Accepting the fact that change is
inevitable can accommodate and manage a successful project. Requirement changes
also have different risks associated with them in terms of cost and time and
the impact is increased with the propagation of those changes from one phase to
the next. Therefore it is necessary to gather and classify the causes, and to
map their impact on software development artefacts. The objective of this study
is to collect evidence of different causes of requirement change by conducting
a Systematic Literature Review and to categorize requirement changes into
different logical groups. With the help of this categorization we hope to be
able to manage the causes of requirement change rather than requirement change
itself. Once we have the data from empirical evidences, we can also measure how
often a change category occurs during different SDLC phases. Kitchenham adapted
Systematic Literature Reviews (SLR) from Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) and
introduced this new way of doing research in order to find an evidence Proceedings
of the EASE 2012 – Published by the IET ISBN 978-1-84919-541-6 22 about a
specific research question 13. Evidence Based Software Engineering (EBSE)
aims to reduce the gap between research and practice by promoting a rigorous process
of finding evidences that are empirical and stand against quality criteria. SLR
is an important part of EBSE. Kitchenham also provided guidelines for
researchers to help them with this new methodology 14. Systematic Review is now
considered as an affective research methodology in software engineering by
which new and interesting facts can be discovered about a research area based
on existing evidences 15. A Systematic Review has three main phases;
Planning, Execution and Reporting. We have carried out all three phases and in this
paper we report both the process and the results obtained from it. The paper is
organized as follows; Section II describes Background and Motivation. Section
III gives description of research questions. Section IV describes the planning
phase of systematic review methodology. Section V describes the execution of
SLR. Section VI describes the results. Section VII is discussion and Section
VIII is the conclusion. Section IX point out the limitations and section X
suggests future work. II. BACKGROUND AND MOTIVATION A software change request
can have many reasons; e.g. the designers may forget to mention a requirement
and it is a missing feature in a resultant system 8 16 7, or an error or
bug has been identified, the rectification of which is a requirement 17, or
misunderstanding of requirements due to the lack of active stakeholder
participation 16 18. Other examples can be: changes in the priorities of organizations
will often motivate changes to the requirements by stakeholders 8 18 19,
the market trends and competition continuously introduce new requirements to be
accommodated 7 8 9, new legislation or rules by the organization can
force the requirements to change 8 18 6 9, people jump to the solution
before understanding what really the problem is 7 20. To establish and
fully comprehend the implicit causes of requirements change it is imperative to
have convincible response to requirements change 21. The requirements problems
can propagate to other phases of SDLC if these issues are not addressed in the
early stages, i.e. requirement change can impact the design, and ultimately
coding and resulting in a system that is not desirable due to these changes.
Change is an issue which can have various effects on the software project,
therefore, it is critical to understand the cause and effect relationship for a
decision making process in requirement change management. The root cause analysis
of requirement change can help to prevent the problems in the requirement
phase. It has been observed that if the practitioners have the knowledge of why
the requirement change request is presented and what was the underlying cause
that generated this request, it would help them in the decision about how to
address that change. The aim of our SLR was to collect empirical evidences for the
causes of requirement change. Once the empirical work is brought together it
would enable us to see the pattern for causes of requirements change. The
knowledge generated by this review will help the project managers and
developers in the requirement change management process for analyzing the cause
and effect relationship and to make the appropriate decision regarding any
requirement change request. Classifying and grouping requirement change is one of
the important factors that needs to be examined and analyzed in the requirement
change management 18 22, because it helps the practitioners in
understanding the category of requirement change and to evaluate its impact on
the software development process and product. One of the objectives of our
study is to analyze the causes of requirements change and to categorize them
into logical groups. These categories can then be assessed for their frequencies
of occurrence during different software development phases. In spite of all the
significance of requirement change claimed in reported literature, it has also been
pointed out that there is a little empirical work done for research and
exploration in this area 6. By the time we were conducting this Systematic
Literature Review, there were only few studies that were using Systematic
Literature Reviews in Requirements Engineering. The focus of one was on
Requirements Elicitation Techniques 23 24 and the other was about
Requirements Errors 25. Taxonomy for sources of Requirements Change was
proposed by McGee and Greer 26. Hence by that time no such synthesized study
existed to show state of the art in cases of requirement change. There are
different tools, techniques and methods being proposed by the research
community to manage the changing requirements. However there is a need for understanding
the underlying causes of requirements change in order to better manage its
impacts on software

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