Industry Track

Have you alredy planned your professional qualification activities for 2019? REFSQ 2019 is an excellent qualification option if you are working as a professional Requirements Engineer, Requirements Manager, Requirements Engineering Coach, Business Analyst, ... Compared to previous years we will expand the industry activities.

Industry Keynote

Wednesday, 20th of March 2019, 9.00-10.30

Robert Karban
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Requirements Analysis and Verification for the Thirty Meter Telescope with OpenMBEE and the OpenSE Cookbook

This talk focuses on leveraging the Executable System Engineering Method (ESEM) which automates requirements verification (e.g. power and mass budget margins and duration analysis of operational modes) using executable SysML models. It demonstrates how the ESEM is applied in conjunction with OpenMBEE (an open source Model Based Engineering Environment) to create key engineering products (e.g. operational concept document) and specify, analyze, and verify requirements of the Alignment and Phasing System (APS) and the Narrow Field Infrared Adaptive Optics System (NFIRAOS) within the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project. TMT is under development by the TMT International Observatory (TIO).


Robert Karban is a Project Systems Engineer in the Systems Engineering and Formulation Division at NASA/JPL. Robert leads the team providing the Systems Environment (based on OpenMBEE) to JPL users, and applies modeling on the Thirty Meter Telescope project. Prior to that, he developed control and instrumentation systems for large telescopes at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), applying model driven technology, and for particle accelerators at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Robert is a Challenge team lead of INCOSE's MBSE Initiative, an OMG certified SysML professional, and co-chair of the OMG's revision task force for SysML. He started his career at Siemens Medical Devices developing System Software and received is M.S. in Computer Science from the Technical University of Vienna/Austria.

Industry Talks

Wednesday, 20th of March 2019, 13.00-15.00 & 15.30-17.30

Like every year the industry track will feature a set of high-quality invited presentations. This year presentations will mainly focus on challenges, i.e. topics that require new attention in industrial RE.

Franziska Herrmann
Human Factors

Wednesday, 20th of March 2019, 13.00-13.40

RE in Regulated Industries: Tamed Horse or Hidden Champion?

Regulated industries can be a challenging field when it comes to requirements engineering, not to mention creativity in requirements engineering. This talk addresses the question whether working as an requirements engineer in a regulated industry, such as medical device manufacturing, means working as a tamed horse with strict boundaries and no room for improvement. Or does this position come with benefits that can’t be seen at first sight? How do advanced standards and strict guidelines open up new paths for cooperation, creativity and higher quality in resulting products? We’ll discuss approaches, techniques and tools.


Franziska Herrmann has been working as a human factors engineer in high-risk organizations (medical devices and aviation) since 2011 and has held active parts in the development of various medical devices and their regulatory market approval. She is a senior requirements engineer and creates information architectures for complex software systems. She focusses on user experience and usability, while bridging the gap in cross-functional development teams through system specification and quality assurance.

Sebastian Rosenkranz
Volkswagen AG

Wednesday, 20th of March 2019, 13.40-14.20

Requirements collection and business process optimization for the development of an information system to replace a legacy system.

The Volkswagen Group operates an approximately 15-year-old back-end IT system, which shows symptoms of a legacy system (outdated process and IT documentation, error-prone, time-consuming maintenance, etc.) and that has to be replaced by a successor system. The presentation will first of all present the initial situation and the special challenges in the context of very large and over years grown legacy systems. In the second part of the presentation, the approach is presented in which (a) the requirements of the users and interface partners on the successor system and (b) the actually practiced as-is process were recorded with the help of interviews. In the third part, we discuss how the recorded requirements had been evaluated against the business process vision, possibly detailed, grouped and prioritized. In conclusion, problems and positive findings of the applied approach are summarized. In particular, we note that many pseudo-requirements had been captured and sometimes even implemented, and that some core requirements can only be captured based on acquired domain knowledge and target business process vision and not through interviews.

Sanja Aaramaa

Wednesday, 20th of March 2019, 14.20-15.00

Challenges in managing quality requirements in industry context and how to overcome them

Communication/ telecommunication technology business sector is a highly competitive domain where complex solutions are developed for unique customers under constant time pressure. Managing requirements and developing products of high quality in such environment is a quite demanding task. To succeed in such a context, it is necessary to constantly seek means to overcome identified challenges. This talk provides some insights for requirements management in industry.


Sanja Aaramaa is RF Platforms DU Operations Owner at Nokia Mobile Networks (MN). In this position, she is responsible for planning and executing projects related to R&D tools and processes, IT and cloud environment within RF Platforms. The objective of these projects is to ensure that MN level decisions on IT & tool roadmaps, harmonisation targets as well as tool strategies are deployed in RF Platforms. Respectively she provides DU feedback and tool related requirements towards relevant MN level bodies and forums. She got her PhD in 2017 from Information Processing Science and MSc in 2008 from Mathematics, the University of Oulu. She has conducted empirical research since 2008 in several publicly funded (ITEA, Business Finland, H2020) research projects in close collaboration with industry. Currently she is the H2020 Q-Rapids Project Manager for Nokia.

David Gilbert
Deutsche Bahn

Wednesday, 20th of March 2019, 15.30-16.10

A pragmatic view from a practical perspective

What is a requirement engineer expected to deliver in context of software development within a large corporation? This contribution addresses the intersection of requirements engineering and design. From a practical point of view there are three main areas where requirements can originate from. These are business, technology and people. Requirements engineering is indisputably strong in eliciting and articulating requirements. However, these three areas of origin are not equally accounted for in the process of engineering requirements. Within Deutsche Bahn Group we therefore elaborated and discussed several problem hypotheses relating to the requirements process. We identified 13 critical issues and for each one a golden rule. We also compared the existing practice of requirements engineering with the established human centered design practice in context of an internal IT provider. Here again the fact came to light clearly that requirements themselves do not create a solution. A conceptional design is required to mediate the transformation from requirements to a solution. Here we see in the context of agile development some stumbling blocks that should be encountered. When we talk about design, we realize that design is a frayed term. In light of contemporary trends towards digital transformation we find that the purpose of design requires some re-shaping. Design problems can be referred to as “wicked problems” according to Horst Rittel. To tackle wicked design problems an integrated mindset of design and engineering is very useful. Equally important is the practice of design as a craft as well as design as a mindset. Several examples from inside Deutsche Bahn are described to illustrate such an integrated mindset. Returning to the intersection of requirements engineering and design it seems that from a practical perspective it is time for a new integrated approach that can be located in the emerging discourse of “digital design”. A discourse that has been started by the German Association for IT, Telecommunications and New Media and picked up the International Requirements Engineering Board, as well as the German Usability Professionals Association.


David Gilbert has worked in various operational and strategic Digital Design roles since 2007. Until 2015, he worked for various design agencies such as Scholz & Volkmer, Pixelpark, Mutabor or SinnerSchrader. The projects he has worked in have received over 25 international and national design awards. - Since 2015 he is working in the IT department of the Deutsche Bahn Group, where he holds the role of Chief Architect User Experience at the intersection of classic system-oriented and user-oriented software conception. From 2011 - 2016, he was a lecturer in UX Design at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences, and has published various contributions to the topics of strategic UX design and digital design. He is a member of the IREB working group "Digital Design", deputy chairman of the Bitkom "Digital Design" working group as well as he is a member of the "Designforum Digital Experience" of the German Design Council.

Patricia Kraft
Bosch Software Innovations GmbH

Wednesday, 20th of March 2019, 16.10-16.50

Lead Customer Driven Requirement Engineering

In agile software development projects requirements engineering is often a pain point. The understanding of customers and software developers collide, when go live comes near. So what to do, to ensure a proper requirements engineering that fits agile development as well as end customer needs? - A practical analysis on two approaches.

Alistair Mavin
Independent RE-Specialist

Wednesday, 20th of March 2019, 16.50-17.30

How can we solve the requirements engineering methods orthogonal ontology puzzle?

This session will frame a community effort to organize the plethora of requirements engineering methods and approaches into an ontology. Such a structure would provide an opportunity to identify gaps and to improve the interfaces between these methods and approaches. Crowdsourcing the validation of such an ontology would facilitate its application across different system types and application domains. Those attending this session should expect to participate in an interactive and engaging discussion.


Alistair Mavin (Mav) is an independent requirements specialist based in the UK. Mav worked as a requirements specialist at Rolls-Royce PLC for 14 years. He has carried out requirements engineering projects in a range of industries including defence, aerospace, rail, automotive, industrial plant design and software systems. He is the lead author of EARS and EARS+ and has experience in the development and delivery of requirements engineering training and in innovation and creativity support. Mav has published many papers on requirements and systems engineering. He was Industry Chair for RE13 and Industry Laboratory Chair for RE14 and is a member of the IEEE “RE” conference series Industry Committee. Mav is a member of IEEE, INCOSE, the British Computer Society (BSC) and the BCS Requirements Engineering Specialist Group committee and is a chartered engineer.

Mini Tutorials

Held on Monday

On Monday morning, we offer two Mini-Tutorials. A Mini-Tutorial is a 90 minute quick lesson on practical issues in daily requirements engineering activities.

Andrea Herrmann

How to derive test cases from UML requirements models

18th of March 2019, 9.00-10.30

Both, requirements and test cases, describe a system's behaviour. So, it should be simple to derive test cases from activity diagrams or state diagrams. In this mini-tutorial, you will derive test cases manually from requirements diagrams. Then, results from student experiments are presented and discussed. Like this, you learn about the rules and pitfalls of this task.


Andrea Herrmann is a freelance trainer and consultant in Software Engineering since 2012. She has more than 20 years of work experience in practice and in research. She wrote over 100 publications, regularly speaks at conferences, associate member at IREB, co-author of syllabus and handbook for the CPRE Advanced Level in Requirements Management.

Alistair Mavin
Independent RE-Specialist

Writing better requirements with EARS

18th of March, 11.00-12.30

System requirements are usually written in Natural Language (NL), often by untrained authors. Easy Approach to Requirements Syntax (EARS) is a notation that gently constrains NL requirements to add rigour whilst retaining the inherent readability of text. It has proved popular with practitioners because it is lightweight, there is little training overhead, no specialist tool is required and the resultant requirements are easy to read. EARS has been shown to drastically reduce the main problems typically associated with NL requirements. It is especially effective for requirements authors who have to write requirements in English, but whose first language is not English. EARS is widely used in academia and in a range of industries worldwide. This mini tutorial introduces the EARS notation, provides worked examples and enables attendees to practice the notation with exercises.


Alistair Mavin (Mav) is an independent requirements specialist based in the UK. Mav worked as a requirements specialist at Rolls-Royce PLC for 14 years. He has carried out requirements engineering projects in a range of industries including defence, aerospace, rail, automotive, industrial plant design and software systems. He is the lead author of EARS and EARS+ and has experience in the development and delivery of requirements engineering training and in innovation and creativity support. Mav has published many papers on requirements and systems engineering. He was Industry Chair for RE13 and Industry Laboratory Chair for RE14 and is a member of the IEEE “RE” conference series Industry Committee. Mav is a member of IEEE, INCOSE, the British Computer Society (BSC) and the BCS Requirements Engineering Specialist Group committee and is a chartered engineer.

Natural-Language Processing Deep-Dive

Monday, 18th of March, 14.00-18.00

We will feature a deep-dive into Natural-Language Processing (NLP) Tools. As part of the NLP4RE workshop we will have a structured tool demo of some commercial NLP tools.
The vendors will first give an overview on their respective tools, give an open presentation on the NLP features of their tools and show the results of the tool capabilities on a “golden spec”, i.e. a specification that reflects the current state of writing natural-language based requirements specifications. The requirements specifications will contain typical deficits as we see them daily in specifications ranging from ambiguities and vague formulations to contradictions and redundancies.
As the tool have all their specific strengths in NLP processing, we expect a really interesting session that help you to understand what to expect from current commercial NLP tools in the requirements engineering area.

So far, the following tool vendors have confirmed their participation in the NLP Deep-Dive:

Requirements and Test Smell Analysis

Qualicen Scout features several different analyses to identify quality issues in requirements. From requirements that are hard to read, over inconsistencies in use cases, to requirements clones, Scout covers a whole range of potential problems. Furthermore, Qualicen Scout brings specific analyses for issues in manual test cases. Examples are overly long test steps and test flows that contain implicit forks. Also clones in tests are covered.
Dashboards give you an overview over KPIs, quality trends and hotspots. With Qualicen Scout, you can choose from a library of widgets to freely configure the Dashboard that you need. Most widgets are interactive and allow you to drill down into the quality data.
Document Visualisation
With Qualicen Scout, you can explore the quality findings directly within your documents. Locations with quality issues are highlighted within the document. Using filters, you can chose which types of issues you want to display.
Real-Time Analysis
As soon as your documents change, Qualicen Scout will detect this change almost immediately and re-run the analyses for the changed parts. Qualicen Scout shows you whether new quality issues have been introduced or whether existing issues have been fixed.
Tool Integration
Qualicen Scouts integrates with your current tooling landscape: Scout can import requirements and tests from various sources, including Qualicen PTC Integrity LM, Microsoft TFS, Visual Studio Team Services, GIT, SVN and the file system. Scout can also use LDAP for authentication.
Learn more?
If want to know more about the Qualicen Scout, send an e-Mail to or visit the website:

The aim of OSSENO Software GmbH is to simplify complex tasks during the early phases of development projects through smart software solutions and to increase their effectiveness and efficiency. With its “ReqSuite®” solution, the company is offering project participants the opportunity to achieve better results in requirements engineering thanks to smart and comfortable work support.

While ReqSuite® RM is a full-fledged requirements management tool, ReqSuite® QC is a derivate that aims at checking and improving the description quality of requirements. ReqSuite® QC helps companies to automatically check requirements in German and English language for completeness, unambiguousness, consistency and redundancy. Thus, ReqSuite® QC not only reduces the effort for quality assurance by more than 50%, but also the risk of requirement related errors in the further course of the project.

Build with Confidence

QRA builds software that assists with writing better requirements and verifying model-based designs – empowering teams to quickly build & procure the machines of tomorrow. From the initial written word of a stakeholder request to the detailed design implementation, QRA offers two complementary solutions for business analysis, procurement, project management, and engineering – together representing a unified mission to provide teams with the tools they need to confidently address the challenges associated with the early stages of complex development & planning.

Automatically analyze requirements. Find ambiguities, inconsistencies, and violations of best practices. Then generate actionable reports to increase clarity and consistency — reducing quality review cycles and rework.

  • Quality analysis for best practice compliance
  • Terminology and unit consistency analysis
  • Requirements similarity analysis
  • Customized reports and requirements export
  • Enterprise collaboration and QA reporting

Exhaustively verify the required behaviour of your system designs against its requirements. Find errors during the design phase. Then easily assess the necessary modifications with dynamic links and visuals to trace the source of the error – preventing proliferating costs & post-deployment failures.
  • Logical analysis of model-based designs
  • Support for Simulink models
  • Auto-generation and export of input-vector counter-examples
  • Error visualization and reporting
  • Best-in-class formal verification

Humans are way better than computers when it comes to common sense and understanding natural language. thingsTHINKING brings common sense to computers. And the trick is - you don’t have to train the AI: It works out of the box! Many tasks in requirements engineering today can only be handled by humans since working with natural language requires contextual information and the ability to understanding the subject matter. Our technology combines (domain-)knowledge with neural networks that provide world-knowledge to get to the actual meaning of natural language from your unstructured data. Think of us as a sidekick, a forklift for your brain.

Large automotive manufacturers and suppliers use the thingsTHINKING Semantic Processing Platform to multiple their resources when working with documents from vendors, customers, and partners. This includes - but is not limited to - automatic processing and matching of requirement documents, laws, standards/norms, and competitive intelligence.

The Challenges:
1. Whether you manage your requirements with a tool like IBM DOORS, SIEMENS POLARION or in a different way: Today you have to check each requirement (new and existing) manually in a time consuming way.
2. Although the content could be the same, the wording of your customers requirements are different to your own (norms, wordings, etc.).
3.Furthermore the knowledge of your people to evaluate requirements is not available in a central location – it is only in the „heads“ of your experts.
4. Your experts cannot fathom when requirements span over multiple departments and areas of your production; silo knowledge vs. company-wide knowledge. This hinders to leverage synergies from different departments cooperating on the subject matter.

How does it work?
Show the software some requirements from the past which you have already assessed with „accepted“ or „rejected“.
The software creates semantic fingerprints of the meaning of these requirements. When you receive or write a new requirement (or full fledged documents), the platform instantly processes the documents and lists which requirements are acceptable, already used, or have been neglected or rejected, gives recommendations