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Would slightly better performance be significantly more valuable from a market perspective? Would significantly better performance be just slightly more expensive to implement? When dealing with performance, usability, reliability, and so on, you often end up in difficult trade-off analysis. You must take into account aspects such as release targets, end-user experience, and business opportunities. At the same time, you must consider what is feasible with the evolving system architecture and the available development resources.Quality requirements are of major importance in the development of systems for software-intensive products. To be successful, a company must find the right balance among competing quality attributes. How should you balance, for example, investments for improved usability of a mobile phone's phone book and better mobile positioning? In the context of quality requirements, decision making typically combines market considerations and design issues in activities such as roadmapping, release planning, and platform scoping. Models that address requirements prioritization in a market-driven context often emphasize functional aspects. (For a comparison of other relevant techniques with Quper, see the sidebar.) Quper provides concepts for reasoning about quality in relation to cost and value and can be used in combination with existing prioritization approaches.
Date of Publication: March-April 2008