Center for Software Process Improvement


This major Danish software process improvement project is funded by The Danish Agency for Development of Industry and Trade (ErhvervsfremmeStyrelsen), and the Center for IT-Research (CIT). It was started January 1997 and lasted until the end of 1999.

Objectives of the Center Project

  • To build up Danish competence in the technologies for software process improvement with special emphasis on technical applications.
  • Through focused research, experimental activities, and measurements to inspire other Danish companies to exploit this knowledge on software process improvement.
The results of the project have been published in the book:
  • Improving Software Organizations: From Principles to Practice (2002), L. Mathiassen e.a. eds. Addison-Wesley Crystal Series. Foreword by Bill Curtis.

A collection af papers published by the project partners during the work performed in the Center Project can be purchased from DELTA:

  • Forbedring af Softwareprocessen, Artikelsamling, Center for Softwareprocesforbedring.
    DLT Report D-263. March 2000.
    DELTA, Venlighedsvej 4, DK-2970 Hrsholm, Denmark.
Though the title of the collection and the introduction is in Danish, all the papers are in English, and they have been presented at various international conferences.

The Project Partners

Industry:

Research:

Brel & Kjr A/S
Danske Data A/S
L.M.Ericsson A/S
SYSTEMATIC A/S

Aalborg University
Danish Technical University (CTI)
DELTA-Datateknik

The Center Project Objectives for
Brel & Kjr

Brel & Kjr is a major measuring instrument manufacturer, headquartered in Denmark with subsidiaries world-wide. Brel & Kjr is the leading supplier of products and knowledge within sound and vibration measurements.
Otto Vinter managed most of the Software Process Improvement actions at Brel & Kjaer.

Through its participation Brel & Kjr wished to continue the activities, which had already been performed to improve the software development process. The major goal was to achieve improved predictability in software development.

Brel & Kjr has chosen to perform software process improvements by building on the strong project manager culture in the company. Improvements can only be achieved through the project managers and the projects they manage. Brel & Kjr did not establish a company wide improvement group (SEPG - Software Engineering Process Group) responsible for the implementation of software process improvements like in most other companies.

The Center Project group at Brel & Kjr was responsible for inspiring, motivating, help, support, train, and monitor the improvement activities in the development projects.

Through a series of interviews with the project managers on their problems in the software development process at Brel & Kjr we reached agreement on the following seven main improvement themes, which the development projects should work on in the course of the Center Project.

Main Improvement Themes

Software Development Model

A development project on the Software Development Model theme was started January 1st 1998. The improvement action lasted until May 1999. The development project experimented with an incremental development model based on the Timeboxing principle from RAD (Rapid Application Development). Our experiences with these principles can be found in the final report (in Danish): Rapport fra forbedringsaktivitet: Software udviklingsmodel, Brel & Kjr CMS (Word97).

The Prototyping theme started out on three projects from September 1998. The experiments were concluded in December 1999. Our experiences with an incremental development model based on prototypes can be found in the final report (in Danish): Rapport fra forbedringsaktivitet: Software udviklingsmodel, Brel & Kjr S&V (Word97).

Requirements Engineering

Three development projects started in May 1998 targeting the Requirements theme. They expanded on those activities, which were started during the PRIDE project. We have gathered large scale experiences using the techniques: Scenarios and Usability Tests on very early prototypes. Our experiences with diffusion and adoption of the techniques have also been extremely positive. They were accepted by the projects with great enthusiam. The projects were released in December 1999. Our experiences with the requirements engineering techniques can be found in the final report (in Danish): Rapport fra forbedringsaktivitet: Kravspecifikationer (Word97).

Configuration Management

In June 1999 we started an experiment to address Configuration Management. Configuration management is normally seen as a quality management issue for controlling changes to products that have been released to the market. Through interviews with developers we discovered, however, that there was a huge need for developers to learn to use the configuration management techniques in an optimum way throughout the development process. This led us to work with alternative metaphors in order to be able to better match the needs of developers for configuration management. We intended to introduce a new CM methodology on a number of projects in September 1999. However, a change in direction of the R&D management halted this experiment.
The work of defining configuration management from the developers' perspective was continued by Otto Vinter and Lars Bendix, who is a researcher specialising in configuration management. The result was presented as a full day tutorial at EuroSTAR 2001 in Stockholm. The title of the tutorial was: Configuration Management from a Developer's Perspective (Word97).

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Last modified: 2008-10-20