Event: Alistair Mavin – At the coalface: experiences of requirements engineering in industry (preceded by our AGM)


Thursday 11 September 2014, 6pm – 8:30pm


BCS headquarter, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA


Registration is free but compulsory.


  • 6:00 Welcome
  • 6:15 Annual General Meeting
  • 6:30 Talk and discussion
  • 7:30 Drink, buffet, and networking

Talk Abstract

Most requirements engineering text books and documented processes tend to imply that everything is within the requirements engineer’s control. Yet practical considerations like geography, schedule, resources and stakeholder engagement are either not mentioned or are assumed to be easy. In many ways, the practice of requirements engineering is far removed from the theory. Schedules are often tight and fixed, yet requirements have to be elicited, written, reviewed and maintained. This requires both aptitude and attitude, both of which may be limited. Stakeholders may not know what they really want, or may not even consider themselves to be stakeholders of the system being developed. Development is rarely done in a green-field site, but usually in the mire of brownfields. In such environments, even agreeing the system scope can be a significant challenge. In this presentation, Mav will discuss the reality of undertaking requirements work in industry, with all the constraints and pressures that can make “doing it by the book” all but impossible. He will draw on his experiences within Rolls-Royce and from his previous role as a requirements engineering consultant.

Speaker’s Bio

Alistair Mavin (Mav) is a requirements specialist at Rolls-Royce. Prior to joining Rolls-Royce he was a requirements engineer at Praxis Critical Systems and within the Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design at City University in London. He has carried out systems and requirements engineering projects in a range of industries including aerospace, defence, rail and automotive. He has experience in the development and delivery of requirements engineering training. Mav has published many papers on systems and requirements engineering and is the lead author of the Easy Approach to Requirements Syntax (EARS) notation. He is a chartered engineer and a committee member of the British Computer Society’s Requirements Engineering Specialist Group. He is a member of the IEEE “RE” conference series Industry Committee and was Industry Chair for RE13.
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