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					      Managing Risk in
Software Process Improvement:
 An Action Research Approach
   Jakob H. Ivesen, Lars Mathiassen, and Peter Axel Nielsen
               Special Issue on Action Research
                     Volume 28, Number 3

                Presented to: Dr. Dina Rateb
             Prepared by: Eng. Mohamed Osman
                        ( Apr 5th, 06)



                                                              1
    Introduction
    Many software organizations engage in software process improvement (SPI)
     initiatives to increase their capability to develop quality solutions at a
     competitive level. Such efforts, however, are complex and very demanding. A
     variety of risks makes it difficult to develop and implement new processes.


    We studied SPI in its organizational context through collaborative practice
     research (CPR), a particular form of action research. The CPR program
     involved close collaboration between practitioners and researchers over a
     three-year period to understand and improve SPI initiatives in four Danish
     software organizations. The problem of understanding and managing risks in
     SPI teams emerged in one of the participating organizations and led to this
     research. .


    Our research offers two contributions.
     - First, we contribute to knowledge on SPI by proposing an approach to
     understand and manage risks in SPI teams.
     - Second, we contribute to knowledge on risk management within the
     information systems and software engineering disciplines.




                                                                                   2
 Software Process Improvement (SPI)

•Continuous and evolutionary approach to improve a software organization’s
capability to develop quality software in response to customer’s requirement.

•SPI covers a wide range of activities, from basic Project Management
disciplines such as project planning and tracking to sophisticated
continuous improvement of developed processes.

•Evidence suggests that SPI initiatives have led to dramatic improvements
of productivity, cycle time and quality.

•These initiatives faced a high number of failures. Out of 1,638 organizations
assessing, only 34% had proceeded to a 2nd assessment . Of those, 16.1%
failed.

•Time frame to move from a level to another varied from 16 to 32 months.




                                                                            3
 The IDEAL Model
                                                       Learning


                                             Propose Future Analysis &
                                                Actions     Validate

                                                                          Implement
Stimulate for  Set       Build                                             Solution
   change     Context Sponsorship Charter                                                   Acting
                                   Infra-
                                 Structure                                        Refine
               Initiating                                                        Solution

                               Character
                               Current &
                                Desired                                          Pilot
                                 States                                         Solution

               Diagnosing          Develop
                                   Recomms
                                                                          Create
                                                                          Solution
                                                  Set          Build
                                               Priorities   Sponsorship



                                                            Establishing
                                                                                                     4
      SPI Project Organization


                                              Steering
                                               Group
           Organizational Level ( SEPG)

                                                  SEPG

Project Level
(SPI Teams)                            Project       Configuration   Quality
                    Metrics
                                     Management      Management      Control




                                                                           5
     Software Risk Management

•     Risk Management has been adopted and developed in a variety of areas,
     including warfare, space exploration, nuclear reactors, security and financial
     Investments.

•     Risk Management ideas have been applied successfully to software development
     in response to various forms of system failure.

•    Degree of risk is assessed either in Quantitative terms as the probability of
     unsatisfactory events multiplied by the loss associated with their outcome or in
     Qualitative by referring to the uncertainness surrounding the project and the
     magnitude of potential loss associated with project failure

•    Approaches to Software Risk Management:
1.   Risk List ( A list of prioritized risk items )
2.   Risk-action list (Same; with related resolution actions)
3.   Risk Strategy Model (A contingency model relates aggregate risk and resolution)
4.   Risk Strategy Analysis ( A stepwise process links risks to risk Mgmt strategy)

                                                                                        6
Developing Risk Approaches

                                    Initiating
                                    1.Appreciate
      Area of                     Problem Situation
      Concern
                                              2.Study Literature



                                                               3.Select Risk
                                                                 Approach



      Risk
                                                               Iterating
   Management
                                                               7.Evaluate      4.Develop Risk
                                                              experiences        Framework

                Closing
                                           8.Exit               6.Apply         5.Design Risk
                                                               Approach            Process

                        9.Assess usefulness



            10.Elicit research results

                                                                                 Risk
                                                                               Approach
                                                                                                7
     Research Practice and Results

•    A time line for the Action Research , together with an overview of activities and
     roles played by researchers and practitioners
1.   Initiating (10.97 – 12.97)
2.   First Iteration (01.98 – 02.98 )
3.   Second Iteration (03.98 – 08.98 )
4.   Third Iteration ( 09.98 – 11.98)
5.   Fourth Iteration ( 11.98 -02.99)
6.   Closing (02.99 – 02.00)

Results:
Research had 2 approaches ( Manage Risks – Tailor Risk Mgmt to specific contexts
within Information Systems) each :

•    Addresses Application Area ( A )
•    Provides a Frame Work ( F ) for understanding
•    Provides Methodology ( M ) for problem solving within (A) based on (F)



                                                                                     8
Risk Areas for SPI Teams




                                                      Improvement
                                                        Ideas
                    Improvement     Improvement
                       Area           Process
                                                        Improvement
                                                          Actors


  Improvement area: Those parts of Software Organization that are
  affected by SPI initiative
  Improvement Ideas: Set of processes, Tools &Techniques that SPI
  seeks to Bring to Improvement areas
  Improvement Process: SPI initiative itself and way it is organized,
  conducted and managed
  Improvement Actors: Those involved in carrying out SPI Initiative
                                                                        9
    Conclusion




•   We used CBR- based action research to combine knowledge from SPI and
    Software Risk Management to respond to practical needs of SPI teams.

•   Findings have implications for both research and practice.

•   Parts were published of the presented results to SPI practitioners.

•   Practical approach was offered to address risk systematically.

•   Approach was documented and illustrated for this purpose.




                                                                           10
THANK YOU

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posted:9/9/2012
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