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The RE4SA model: Supporting Product Management with Software Architecture by Sabine Molenaar & Sjaak Brinkkemper, Utrecht University

Miscommunications between product management and software architecture can lead to incorrect implementations and/or reworking. Utrecht University has developed the so called Requirements Engineering for Software Architecture (RE4SA) model. An integrated method that helps to realize product ideas in software production, by relating requirements engineering to software architecture. The requirement engineering aspect focuses on Epic Stories and User Stories, which are to be transformed into Modules and Features in the software architecture respectively. In the light of this approach, the Product Domain Ontology links all artifacts of architecture and requirements through a domain ontology. Industrial projects have shown that tools are needed to ensure consistency between the exchanged artifacts, to avoid misunderstandings, and the traceability of requirements, without introducing more work for the stakeholders involved. The projects also showed a continuous flow of requirements and, therefore, a continuously changing architecture. Smooth communication between product managers and software architects is key for software product success.

Sjaak Brinkkemper is a professor in Software Production at Utrecht University in the Department of Information and Computing Sciences, as well as co-founder of ISPMA. Sabine Molenaar is an Honours MSc student Business Informatics with an interest in software product management.