Requirements Quality Research: a harmonized Theory, Evaluation, and Roadmap

Daniel Mendez, Julian Frattini, Lloyd Montgomery, Jannik Fischbach, Davide Fucci und Michael Unterkalmsteiner

Requirements Engineering Journal,

2023 · DOI:


High-quality requirements minimize the risk of propagating defects to later stages of the software development life cycle. Achieving a sufficient level of quality is a major goal of requirements engineering. This requires a clear definition and understanding of requirements quality. Though recent publications make an effort at disentangling the complex concept of quality, the requirements quality research community lacks identity and clear structure which guides advances and puts new findings into an holistic perspective. In this research commentary we contribute (1) a harmonized requirements quality theory organizing its core concepts, (2) an evaluation of the current state of requirements quality research, and (3) a research roadmap to guide advancements in the field. We show that requirements quality research focuses on normative rules and mostly fails to connect requirements quality to its impact on subsequent software development activities, impeding the relevance of the research. Adherence to the proposed requirements quality theory and following the outlined roadmap will be a step towards amending this gap.