The Gap Finder is a method for assessing and improving the alignment between requirements and testing in a software development project. The method consists of two parts: an assessment part based on a measurement instrument for assessing distances within a development project; and a prescriptive part that proposes improvement practices. When applied, the outcomes from the Gap Finder (the measurements collated into an iRE profile and the identified improvement practices) are presented to the assessed project team at a workshop. This workshop has the dual purpose of validating the output of the method and agreeing which improvement practices to implement.
The Gap Finder is based on a theory of distances for software engineering which includes a matirx (the Gap Model) mapping distance types to corresponding practices that mitigates these distances, or gaps.
The method has been applied and evaluated through a case study of a software development project at the Open University (OU), UK. The project develops in-house IS solutions for the Open University. Material used in this study are provided below, including an interview guide for the initial domain knowledge gathering and the final practices survey.
User guide v 1.0
- Profile survey: generic version, specific version used in OU case
- Communication survey: generic version, specific version used in OU case
- Artefact survey: generic version, tailored to OU case
Evaluation study material
- E. Bjarnason, H. Sharp, B. Regnell (underview) "Improving Requirements-Test Alignment by Prescribing Practices that Mitigate Communication Gaps"
E. Bjarnason, and H. Sharp (2017) "The role of distances in requirements communication: a case study." Requirements Engineering 2017: 1-26.
- E. Bjarnason, H. Sharp, B. Regnell (2013) "Gap Finder: Assessing and Improving he Integration of Requirements and Testing" Paper VI in "Integrated Requirements Engineering - Understanding and Bridging Gaps within Software Development", E. Bjarnason, Ph.D. Thesis, Lund University.