A Framework for Goal-oriented Process Configuration
- This research for this thesis was conducted to develop a framework which supports the automatic configuration of project-specific software development processes by selecting and combining different technologies: the Process Configuration Framework. The research draws attention to the problem that while the research community develops new technologies, the industrial companies continue only using their well-known ones. Because of this, technology transfer takes decades. In addition, there is the fact that there is no solution which solves all problems in a software development project. This leads to a number of technologies which need to be combined for one project.
The framework developed and explained in this research mainly addresses those problems by building a bridge between research and industry as well as by supporting software companies during the selection of the most appropriate technologies combined in a software process. The technology transformation gap is filled by a repository of (new) technologies which are used as a foundation of the Process Configuration Framework. The process is configured by providing SPEM process pattern for each technology, so that the companies can build their process by plugging into each other.
The technologies of the repository were specified in a schema including a technology model, context model, and an impact model. With context and impact it is possible to provide information about a technology, for example, its benefits to quality, cost or schedule. The offering of the process pattern as output of the Process Configuration Framework is performed in several stages:
I Technology Ranking:
1 Ranking based on Application Domain, Project & Impact
2 Ranking based on Environment
3 Ranking based on Static Context
II Technology Combination:
4 Creation of all possible Technology Chains
5 Restriction of the Technology Chains
6 Ranking based on Static and Dynamic Context
7 Extension of the Chains by Quality Assurance
III Process Configuration:
8 Process Component Diagram
9 Extension of the Process Component Diagram
10 Instantiation of the Components by Technologies of the Technology Chain
11 Providing process patterns
12 Creation of the process based on Patterns
The effectiveness and quality of the Process Configuration Framework have additionally been evaluated in a case study. Here, the Technology Chains manually created by experts were compared to the chains automatically created by the framework after it was configured by those experts. This comparison depicted that the framework results are similar and therefore can be used as a recommendation.
We conclude from our research that support during the configuration of a process for software projects is important especially for non-experts. This support is provided by the Process Configuration Framework developed in this research. In addition our research has shown that this framework offers a possibility to speed up the technology transformation gap between the research community and industrial companies.