Creativity Triggers: Extension and empirical evaluation of their effectiveness during requirements elicitation

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Creativity helps organization to produce novel solutions to complex and sometimes enduring problems. By breaking traditional ways of looking at a given problem and facilitating the design of alternative approaches, creativity contributes to the creation of value-adding solutions within an organization. This is true for any type of problem, including the problem of specifying the requirements for a new software or system. A number of creativity methods, techniques and tools have been proposed as a way to be more creative during Requirements Engineering (RE). They are however often demanding in terms of time, human involvement and resources, thereby reducing their attractiveness for RE practitioners and their stakeholders. Our previous research has led to the proposition of a lightweight tool to support creativity in RE; the Creativity Triggers (CTs). CTs are cards to be used during requirements elicitation to foster creativity from stakeholders and help them uncover novel features of a system-to-be. This paper builds on – and extends – our early conceptualization of CTs to produce a more comprehensive and empirically grounded proposal. Our contribution is twofold; first, we conduct a large-scale and systematic exploration of the qualities underlying the CTs. The objective is to improve the completeness of the tool in order to produce a final set of CTs. Second, we conduct a validation of CTs in different contexts and with different viewpoints to evaluate its usefulness in supporting creativity during requirements elicitation. We end-up with a set of 22 CTs that provided evidence for supporting creativity during RE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111365
JournalJournal of Systems & Software
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2022


  • Creative thinking
  • Creativity technique
  • Lightweight technique
  • Requirements elicitation
  • Requirements engineering


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