An Action Research for User Requirements Processes in a Brazilian Public Institution


  • Luís E. S. Santos Universidade Federal do Sergipe (UFS)
  • Michel S. Soares Universidade Federal do Sergipe (UFS)



Action Research, Public Sector, Requirements Documentation, Requirements Engineering, SysML, User Requirements


Requirements Engineering stands out as a key phase within Software Engineering for establishing a strict and common vision between the client and the project team on software requirements. This study was carried out using the action research methodology in a public institution, with the goal of proposing and applying a user requirements elicitation and documentation process. In the process, a template is used for documenting requirements using SysML (Systems Modeling Language). Both qualitative and quantitative evaluations were carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of the process. Results suggest that the intervention achieved positive results, including evidence of improvements in user requirements elicitation and documentation.


Download data is not yet available.


Amyot, D., Anda, A. A., Baslyman, M., Lessard, L., and Bruel, J.-M. (2016). Towards Improved Requirements Engineering with SysML and the User Requirements Notation. InRequirements Engineering Conference (RE), 2016 IEEE 24th International,pages 329–334. IEEE.

Amyot, D. and Mussbacher, G. (2011). User Requirements Notation: The First TenYears, The Next Ten Years.JSW, 6(5):747–768.

Asghar, A. R., Bhatti, S. N., Tabassum, A., and Shah, S. A. A. S. (2017). The Impact of Analytical Assessment of Requirements Prioritization Models: An Empirical Study.International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications(IJACSA), 8(2):303–313.

Basili, V. R. and Weiss, D. M. (1984). A Methodology for Collecting Valid SoftwareEngineering Data.IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 10(6):728–738.

Berry, D. M. (2004). The Inevitable Pain of Software Development: Why There is noSilver Bullet. InRadical Innovations of Software and Systems Engineering in theFuture, pages 50–74. Springer.

Bizagi (2018). (, 2018).

Braude, E. and Bernstein, M. (2016).Software Engineering: Modern Approaches, SecondEdition. John Wiley, USA.

Brooks, F. P. (1987). No Silver Bullet.IEEE Computer, 20(4):10–19.

Buede, D. and Miller, W. (2016).The Engineering Design of Systems: Models andMethods. Wiley Series in Systems Engineering and Management. Wiley, USA.

CBOK, B. (2013). Guide to the Business Process Management Common Body of Knowledge (BPM CBOK) 3.0.

Chang, C.-H., Lu, C.-W., Yang, W. P., Chu, W. C.-C., Yang, C.-T., Tsai, C.-T., andHsiung, P.-A. (2014). A SysML Based Requirement Modeling Automatic Transformation Approach. InComputer Software and Applications Conference Workshops(COMPSACW), 2014 IEEE 38th International, Sweden, pages 474–479. IEEE.

Chinosi, M. and Trombetta, A. (2012). BPMN: An Introduction to the Standard.Compu-ter Standards & Interfaces, 34(1):124–134.

Cui, X. and Paige, R. (2012). An Integrated Framework for System/Software Require-ments Development Aligning with Business Motivations. InComputer and Informa-tion Science (ICIS), 2012 IEEE/ACIS 11th International Conference on, pages 547–552. IEEE.

de Sousa, T. L., Venson, E., da Costa Figueiredo, R. M., Kosloski, R. A., and Junior, L. C.M. R. (2016). Using Scrum in Outsourced Government Projects: An Action Research.InSystem Sciences (HICSS), 2016 49th Hawaii International Conference on, pages5447–5456. IEEE.

Dos Santos, P. S. M. and Travassos, G. H. (2011). Action Research can Swing the Balancein Experimental Software Engineering. InAdvances in computers, volume 83, pages205–276. Elsevier.

Elden, M. and Chisholm, R. F. (1993). Emerging Varieties of Action Research: Introduction to the Special Issue.Human relations, 46(2):121–142

Ellis, K. and Berry, D. M. (2013). Quantifying the Impact of Requirements Definition and Management Process Maturity on Project Outcome in Large Business ApplicationDevelopment.Requirements Engineering, pages 1–27.

Ferńandez, D. M., Wagner, S., Kalinowski, M., Schekelmann, A., Tuzcu, A., Conte, T.,Spinola, R., and Prikladnicki, R. (2015). Naming the Pain in Requirements Engineering: Comparing Practices in Brazil and Germany.IEEE Software, 32(5):16–23.

Friedenthal, S., Moore, A., and Steiner, R. (2008). Omg Systems Modeling Language(OMG SysMLTM) Tutorial. InINCOSE international symposium, volume 18, pages1731–1862. Wiley Online Library.

Geiger, M., Harrer, S., Lenhard, J., and Wirtz, G. (2018). BPMN 2.0: The State of Supportand Implementation.Future Generation Computer Systems, 80:250–262.

Hall, T., Beecham, S., and Rainer, A. (2002). Requirements Problems in Twelve SoftwareCompanies: An Empirical Analysis.IEE Proceedings-Software, 149(5):153–160.

Hampson, K. (2015). Technical Evaluation of the Systems Modeling Language (SysML).Procedia Computer Science, 44:403–412.

Hutchinson, J., Whittle, J., and Rouncefield, M. (2014). Model-Driven Engineering Prac-tices in Industry: Social, Organizational and Managerial Factors that lead to Successor Failure.Science of Computer Programming, 89:144–161.

Hutchinson, J., Whittle, J., Rouncefield, M., and Kristoffersen, S. (2011). EmpiricalAssessment of MDE in Industry. InSoftware Engineering (ICSE), 2011 33rd Interna-tional Conference on, pages 471–480. IEEE.

ISO, I. (2011). IEEE. 29148: 2011-Systems and Software Engineering-RequirementsEngineering. Technical report, Technical report.

Jouault, F. and Kurtev, I. (2005). Transforming Models with ATL. InInternational Confe-rence on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems, pages 128–138. Springer.

Khan, J. A., Rehman, I. U., Khan, Y. H., Khan, I. J., and Rashid, S. (2015). Comparison of Requirement Prioritization Techniques to Find Best Prioritization Technique. International Journal of Modern Education and Computer Science, 7(11):53.

Kitchenham, B. (2004). Procedures for Performing Systematic Reviews.Keele, UK,Keele University, 33(2004):1–26.

Laplante, P. A. (2013).Requirements Engineering for Software and Systems. CRC Press,USA.

Latum, F. V., Solingen, R. V., Oivo, M., Hoisl, B., Rombach, D., and Ruhe, G. (1998).Adopting GQM based Measurement in an Industrial Environment.IEEE software,15(1):78–86.

Leopold, H., Mendling, J., and G ̈unther, O. (2016). Learning from Quality Issues ofBPMN Models from Industry.IEEE Software, 33(4):26–33.

Mafra, P., Kalinowski, M., Fern ́andez, D. M., Felderer, M., and Wagner, S. (2016).Towards Guidelines for Preventing Critical Requirements Engineering Problems. InSoftware Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA), 2016 42th Euromicro Con-ference on, pages 25–29. IEEE.

McKay, J. and Marshall, P. (2001). The Dual Imperatives of Action Research. InformationTechnology & People, 14(1):46–59.

Muşat, L., H ̈ubl, M., Buzo, A., Pelz, G., Kandl, S., and Puschner, P. (2016). Semi-formal Representation of Requirements for Automotive Solutions Using SysML. In Languages, Design Methods, and Tools for Electronic System Design, pages 57–81.Springer.

Oliveira, F., Goldman, A., and Santos, V. (2015). Managing Technical Debt in SoftwareProjects using Scrum: An Action Research. InAgile Conference (AGILE), 2015, pages50–59. IEEE.

OMG, B.P.M. (2011). Notation (BPMN).FTF Beta, 1.

Paech, B., Koenig, T., Borner, L., and Aurum, A. (2005). An Analysis of EmpiricalRequirements Engineering Survey Data. In Engineering and Managing Software Requirements, pages 427–452. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Papyrus (2018). (, 2018).

Petersen, K., Gencel, C., Asghari, N., Baca, D., and Betz, S. (2014). Action Research as a Model for Industry-Academia Collaboration in the Software Engineering Context. InProceedings of the 2014 International Workshop on Long-term Industrial Collabora-tion on Software Engineering, WISE ’14, pages 55–62, New York, NY, USA. ACM.

Pillat, R. M., Oliveira, T. C., Alencar, P. S., and Cowan, D. D. (2015). Bpmnt: A BPMN Extension for Specifying Software Process Tailoring.Information and Software Tech-nology, 57:95–115.

Pohl, K. (2010).Requirements Engineering: Fundamentals, Principles, and Techniques.Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated, USA, 1st edition.

Pressman, R. and Maxim, B. (2016).Engenharia de Software-8aEdic̃ao. McGraw Hill,Brasil.

Ramasubbu, N. (2014). Governing Software Process Improvementsin Globally Distribu-ted Product Development.IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 40(3):235–250.

Redmine (2018). (, 2018).

Scanniello, G., Staron, M., Burden, H., and Heldal, R. (2014). On the Effect of UsingSysML Requirement Diagrams to Comprehend Requirements: Results from two Con-trolled Experiments. InProceedings of the 18th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering, page 49. ACM.

Soares, M. S. and Cioquetta, D. S. (2012). Analysis of Techniques for Documenting User Requirements. InInternational Conference on Computational Science and ItsApplications, pages 16–28. Springer.

Soares, M. S., Vrancken, J., and Verbraeck, A. (2011). User Requirements Modeling and Analysis of Software-Intensive Systems. Journal of Systems and Software, 84:328–339.

Soares, M. S. and Vrancken, J. L. (2008). Model-Driven User Requirements Specification using SysML. JSW, 3(6):57–68.

Sommerville, I. (2011).Engenharia de Software. Pearson Prentice Hall, USA.

Storrle, H. (2017). How are Conceptual Models used in Industrial Software Development?: A Descriptive Survey. InProceedings of the 21st International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering, pages 160–169. ACM.

SysML, O. (2015). OMG Systems Modeling Language.

Thiollent, M. (2011). Metodologia da Pesquisa-acao. Metodologia da Pesquisa-acão.Cortez, Brasil.

Tripp, D. (2005). Action Research: A Methodological Introduction. Educação e pesquisa,31(3):443–466.

Van Lamsweerde, A. (2000). Requirements Engineering in the Year 00: A Research Perspective. InProceedings of the 22nd international conference on Software engineering,pages 5–19. ACM.

Wiegers, K. and Beatty, J. (2013).Software Requirements. Developer Best Practices.Pearson Education, USA.

Wohlin, C., Runeson, P., H ̈ost, M., Ohlsson, M. C., Regnell, B., and Wesslen, A. (2012).Experimentation in Software Engineering. Springer Science & Business Media.



How to Cite

Santos, L. E. S., & Soares, M. S. (2020). An Action Research for User Requirements Processes in a Brazilian Public Institution. ISys - Brazilian Journal of Information Systems, 13(2), 60–109.



Regular articles