Motivational Models

Transitioning from motivational goal models to user stories within user-centred software design

First International Interdisciplinary Workshop on Requirements Engineering for Sociotechnical Systems, 2022.

model-based requirements, motivational modelling, requirements engineering, engineering education

Research team

Eduardo Oliveira

Leon Sterling

Varsha Maram

Before I explain a bit more about this research to you, let me just give you a bit more of context about motivational models and how we've been using them here at Melbourne Uni.

As we know,
Requirements Engineering (RE) practices in agile software development involves extensive collaboration and face-to-face communication. To ensure requirements are appropriately defined, software engineering tools should focus on user-centred design artifacts like personas and user stories, and less in supporting the design and development of software features. Here, at the University of Melbourne, students build a Motivational Model (MM) as a requirement artifact to engage with external industry partners, most of whom are non-technical. Increasingly, MM tool (developed in 2018 by our students) is being used to check consistency with other requirement artifacts. This tool is continuously updated and improved by our students every semester.

After adopting MM in five of our subjects (undergrad and masters' programs), we identified potential to better integrate the use of these models with other requirements artifacts. As the success of software products is highly dependent on validations performed on users' goals, the relationships between goal models, personas and user stories are critical at early design phases. We strongly believe non-technical approaches like motivational goal models can be used to facilitate communication and better overall understanding among stakeholders when combined appropriately. The hierarchical diagram of the goals of a system at high abstraction levels has potential to improve communication between students and industry partners during requirements elicitation and validation tasks. Motivational goal models have evolved and been used extensively over the past 5 years in software engineering, especially in RE.

Currently, over 1200 students benefited from using our MM teaching process and tool.

In this paper, we present a method for semi-automatically generating user stories from motivational goal models to support requirements validation between software engineers and clients. The method has the advantage of extending the high-level understanding as conveyed by the motivational model with concrete artefacts. As such, they are also consistent with user-centred software design.

All the details from this study (and analysis) are now available on CEUR-WS and can be accessed here:

Let us know your thoughts about it. We'd love to hear from you.