Skip to Main Content
The question of the "manner in which an existing software architecture affects requirements decisionmaking" is recognised as important in the research community; however, to our knowledge, this issue has not been scientifically explored. This paper describes an exploratory study on this question. Specific types of architectural effects on requirements decisions are identified, as are different aspects of the architecture together with the extent of their effects. This paper gives quantitative measures and qualitative interpretation of the findings. The understanding gained from this study has several implications in the areas of: project planning and risk management, requirements engineering and software architecture technology, architecture evolution, tighter integration of Requirements Engineering and Software Architecting processes, and middleware in architectures. The study involved six requirements engineering teams (of university students), whose task was to elicit new requirements for upgrading a preexisting banking software infrastructure. The data collected was based on a new meta-model for requirements decisions, which is a bi-product of this study.