Requirements Negotiation – The EasyWinWin Method

Requirements that are in conflict or are inconsistent need resolution
through negotiation between stakeholders who own these
requirements. This is a different problem that belies software tool
support. There have been a number of requirements negotiation
processes and software tools. In this lecture we will describe one of the
most applied and effective – EasyWinWin from the team of Barry Boehm
at the University of Southern California. EasyWinWin builds on the
published Win-Win technique from meditation strategies.
EasyWinWin engages stakeholders in step-by-step win-win negotiation
activities that endeavour to establish a win condition for all participants
in the negotiation process. There are 3 key stages. Firstly, stakeholders
collect, elaborate and prioritise requirements using traditional
techniques. These requirements are then explored in terms of different
options and issues by trying to establish mutually satisfactory
requirements. The aim is to converge on win-win agreements using the
win-win equilibrium condition. At the end of the fourth stage the
stakeholders express their requirements as win conditions that, ideally,
become agreements.
Boehm B, Grunbacher P. & Briggs R., 2001, ‘Developing Groupware for Requirements Negotiation: Lessons
Learned’, IEEE Software May/June 2001, 46-55
The EasyWinWin method is supported by collaborative software tools
that are described a little later. The method itself is composed of 8
essential activities.
1. Stakeholders jointly refine and customise the outline of negotiation
topics based on a domain taxonomy of software requirements. The
shared outline helps to stimulate thinking, to organise negotiation
results, and serves as a completeness checklist during negotiations.
2. Stakeholders share their goals, perspectives, views and expectations
by gathering statements about their win conditions.
3. The team jointly craft a non-redundant list of clearly stated,
unambiguous win conditions by considering all ideas contributed in the
brainstorming session.
4. Capture a glossary of terms. Stakeholders define and share the
meaning of important keywords of the project/domain in a glossary.
5. Prioritise win conditions. The team prioritises the win conditions to
define and narrow down the scope of work and to gain focus.
6. Stakeholders surface and understand issues by analysing the
prioritisation poll.
7. Stakeholders register constraints and conflicting win conditions as
issues and propose options to resolve these issues.
8. The captured decision rationale provides the foundation to negotiate
agreements

Reference: Reference: Neil Maiden (2011) Requirements Engineering Lecture Notes

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