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Tenth International Workshop on Creativity in Requirements Engineering (CreaRE’21) at REFSQ’21

Yesterday took place our 10th CreaRE workshop. It was a good mixture of presentations and discussions. What are my key learnings?

First were our three invited expert presentations:

Marcus Trapp: "Creative People are great Thieves with lousy Dealers"

Digitalization makes software essential. Software is the number one innovation driver. Software is only limited by imagination, by design and by organization.

Creativity is about stealing (getting inspired) from the past. See the Youtube-Video of Kirby Ferguson "Everythig is a Remix": copy, transform and combine.

So, the task of the facilitator of a creativty workshop is to make participants to find their experiences from the past from which they can steal.

The greatest challenge, though, is not having a creative idea, but to the turn the innovation into an invention.

Kim Lauenroth: "Against Method - An essay on the importance of studying projects and results for more creativity in RE!"
When you write requirements, you create software. We need digital designers as a profession to craft with digital material. Teach them by examples and by giving feedback.

Kerstin Roese: "RE 4.0"
How to integrate the different competences in a team: requirements engineering, usability design, domain knowledge, etc? Eleven competencies have been identified. The solution: Let us focus on the goal of designing user experience. A customer-oriented software process and customer-driven company means a cultural change.

Retrospective session: "10 years have got behind us"

Andrea Herrmann: I believe that everyone can be creative, but most people are not used to doing so. Systematic techniques help to create ideas.

My most interesting insights: I learned from the presentations that the ideal size of team for creativity is two persons. From my own research, I learned that working in one's mother language makes more productive. So, for being productive, you need not only ideas in visual pictures, but also need to express them and contribute them somehow.

So, maybe we need a two step process? First, pairs of persons with the same mother language create ideas, then translate and integrate the results of the teams in a second step.

Eddy Groen: Creativity is immersive, can take place everywhere. So, mobile devices can be used for creativity. The lockdown demands us to be creative to develop tools and techniques.

Patrick: There is a gap between research and practice. Do we really apply the research results or do we work following our gut feeling?

This session was followed by two paper presentations:

Luisa Mich: “Choosing a Creativity Technique for Requirements Elicitation”

The Creativity Paradox means that despite the plentitude of techniques known and research done, companies do not apply creativity techniques and tools for requirements engineering. Why not and what can we do about it? This presentation was a research preview for a study comparing creativity techniques, even less known ones, with respect to practice-relevant criteria. The objective is to design and implement a knowledge-based decision support system.

Varun Gupta and Jose Maria Fernandez-Crehuet: “Creativity through Startup and Academia Partnerships: Experience from Real Consulting Project”

This presentation was an experience report about a start-up company which needed feedback about their product during the pandemy. As the product was hardware-based, software prototypes were not sufficient. As the start-up had no customers yet, they collaborated with experts from a university to get feedback. Regular feedback and interaction still was key. They applied a mixture of market research and requirements engineering, online meetings and simulations of product prototypes.

 

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