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More than requirements: Applying requirements engineering techniques to the challenge of setting corporate intellectual policy, an experience report

Authors
Publisher
IEEE
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Negotiation
  • Requirements Elicitation
  • Corporate Policy
  • Intellectual Property
  • Technology And Engineering
Disciplines
  • Engineering

Abstract

Creation and adoption of corporate policies requires significant commitment of scarce senior management resources. In the absence of processes and tools, convergence upon final policy and may not be achieved in a timely manner. Significant similarities between policy and requirements documents suggest that requirements engineering techniques could be used to generate policy. However, neither evidence of feasibility of this approach nor theoretical investigation is present in the research literature. This paper reports upon our experience from an exploratory study where well-established requirements engineering methodologies were applied to generate corporate intellectual property policy. Interview, brainstorming and survey techniques were used to successfully apply structure and process to the task, generating a new corporate intellectual property policy that met or exceeded all stakeholder goals. The materials gathered during stakeholder interactions and analysis not only provided functional guidance for the policy itself, but also non-functional guidance with respect to the diversity of stakeholder opinions and the strength with which opinions were held. This knowledge greatly facilitated the creation of draft policy: this insider knowledge increased our expectation of stakeholder acceptance and also facilitated subsequent negotiation efforts. The feasibility of applying RE techniques to crafting corporate policy has been demonstrated and the results show sufficient promise that further investigation is warranted.

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