File(s) under permanent embargo

Learning from mistakes: An empirical study of elicitation interviews performed by novices

conference contribution
posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Muneera Bano, D Zowghi, A Ferrari, P Spoletini, B Donati
© 2018 IEEE. [Context] Interviews are the most widely used elicitation technique in requirements engineering. However, conducting effective requirements elicitation interviews is challenging, due to the combination of technical and soft skills that requirements analysts often acquire after a long period of professional practice. Empirical evidence about training the novices on conducting effective requirements elicitation interviews is scarce. [Objectives] We present a list of most common mistakes that novices make in requirements elicitation interviews. The objective is to assist the educators in teaching interviewing skills to student analysts. [Re-search Method] We conducted an empirical study involving role-playing and authentic assessment with 110 students, teamed up in 28 groups, to conduct interviews with a customer. One re-searcher made observation notes during the interview while two researchers reviewed the recordings. We qualitatively analyzed the data to identify the themes and classify the mistakes. [Results and conclusion] We identified 34 unique mistakes classified into 7 high level themes. We also give examples of the mistakes made by the novices in each theme, to assist the educationists and trainers. Our research design is a novel combination of well-known pedagogical approaches described in sufficient details to make it re-peatable for future requirements engineering education and training research.



2018 IEEE 26th International Requirements Engineering Conference (26th : 2018 : Banff, Alberta)


182 - 193




Banff, Alberta

Place of publication

Piscataway, N.J.

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Title of proceedings

RE 2018 : Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE 26th International Requirements Engineering Conference