Leveraging creativity in requirements elicitation within agile software development: a systematic literature review

Published: 20 August 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/bkd43brnc6.1
David Granada


Agile approaches tend to focus solely on scoping and simplicity rather than on problem solving and discovery. This hampers the development of innovative solutions. Additionally, little has been said about how to capture and represent the real user needs. To fill this gap, some authors argue in favor of the application of ``Creative thinking'' for requirements elicitation within agile software development. This synergy between creativeness and agility has arisen as a new means of bringing innovation and flexibility to increasingly demanding software. The aim of the present study is therefore to employ a systematic review to investigate the state-of-the-art of those approaches that leverage creativity in requirements elicitation within Agile Software Development, as well as the benefits, limitations and strength of evidence of these approaches. The review was carried out by following the guidelines proposed by Dr. Kitchenham. The search strategy identified 1451 studies, 17 of which were eventually classified as primary studies. The selected studies contained 13 different and unique proposals. These approaches provide evidence that enhanced creativity in requirements elicitation can be successfully implemented in real software projects. We specifically observed that projects related to user interface development, such as those for mobile or web applications, are good candidates for the use of these approaches. We have also found that agile methodologies such as Scrum, Extreme Programming or methodologies based on rapid modelling are preferred when introducing creativity into requirements elicitation. Despite this being a new research field, there is a mixture of techniques, tools and processes that have already been and are currently being successfully tested in industry. Finally, we have found that, although creativity is an important ingredient with which to bring about innovation, it is not always sufficient to generate new requirements because this needs to be followed by user engagement and a specific context in which proper conditions, such as flexibility, time or resources, have to be met.



Software Development, Agile Method, Creativity, Systematic Review, Requirements Management