Event: Alistair Mavin – Easy Approach to Requirements Syntax (EARS)


Monday 18 July 2016, from 6:30 pm


Novotel East Midlands


This event is open to everyone, not just BCS members, so please invite your friends and colleagues along to help make the event a real success.

Register for this event

Talk Abstract

Easy Approach to Requirements Syntax (EARS) was developed at Rolls-Royce and has been shown to drastically reduce or even eliminate the main problems typically associated with natural language (NL) requirements. It is widely used in academia and in a range of industries throughout the world.

System requirements are usually written in unconstrained NL, which is inherently imprecise. During system development, problems in system requirements often propagate to lower levels. This creates unnecessary volatility and risk, which impact programme schedule and cost. To mitigate this problem, there is a need to provide simple, practical guidance for authors of NL requirements. EARS is a notation for authoring NL requirements through the application of a template with an underlying ruleset. Application of EARS produces requirements in a small number of simple patterns. EARS 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.

This presentation will introduce the EARS approach, illustrate worked examples and discuss the benefits of adopting the approach.

Speaker’s Bio

Alistair Mavin (Mav) is a requirements specialist at Rolls-Royce PLC based in Derby and has carried out systems engineering and requirements engineering projects in a range of industries including defence, aerospace, rail and automotive.

He is the lead author of 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, was Industry Chair for RE13 and Industry Laboratory Chair for RE14. He is a member of the “RE” conference series Industry Committee, a member of the British Computer Society’s (BCS) Requirements Engineering Specialist Group (RESG) committee and is a chartered engineer.

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