From requirements to project effort estimates – work in progress (still?), Charles Symons and Cigdem Gencel – COSMIC
Abstract: The software industry’s record of delivering projects to time and budget is notoriously bad; project failures and over-runs are hugely expensive for its customers. Uncertainty in requirements and poor estimating processes are widely acknowledged as major causes of the problems. Most projects are initially estimated by expert judgement and/or by analogy. Current estimating methods and tools, whether open or proprietary, rely on methods for quantifying software requirements and converting to effort that are obviously weak in several respects.
This talk will focus on important weaknesses in the early steps of project estimating, namely
- how functional requirements are measured and how functional sizes are (mis-)used in estimating
- how non-functional requirements are taken into account either in developing performance benchmarks and/or via so-called ‘cost drivers’
The aim will be to raise the awareness of requirements engineers on how they can help estimators and support estimating processes by the way they present requirements, by collection of data to help quantify requirements, and on the need for more standardization, particularly in the area of non-functional requirements.
Charles Symons has well over 50 years experience in the use of computers for business and scientific purposes, in both public and private sectors, in all the major disciplines of the Information Systems function. He has published original work in computer use accounting, data analysis, computer security, and software measurement and estimating. As a management consultant, he led projects on IS strategy and to improve the performance of the IS function in many parts of the world.
His interest in software measurement and estimating began in the 1980’s when he developed the MkII FP sizing and estimating methods. He is now semi-retired but in 1998 he helped establish COSMIC, the Common Software Measurement International Consortium. COSMIC is an informal grouping of software metrics experts that has developed an ISO standard method of measuring a functional size of business, real-time and infrastructure software. It is the only functional size measurement method based on fundamental software engineering principles, and is now used widely around the world. Charles is the immediate past President of COSMIC and continues as Chair of the Measurement Practices Committee which maintains and enhances COSMIC methods
Cigdem Gencel is an assistant professor and senior researcher at the Faculty of Computer Science of the Free University of Bolzano, Italy. She received her PhD from the Informatics Institute of the Middle East Technical University in Turkey in 2005. Between 2008 and 2011 she worked as a member of the Software Engineering Research Laboratory in the Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden. Her research focus is providing novel solutions to real industrial challenges, particularly in the areas of software size and effort estimating, software measurement, software project management, requirements elicitation methods and process improvement. During the last eight years, she has also been giving consultancy and training to software organizations on these areas. She is a member of the International Advisory Council of COSMIC and since 2011 has been a member of the COSMIC Measurement Practices Committee.
Strategies for Introducing UML into System Analysis – Creating new Competence in your Organization, Chris Rupp and Stefan Queins (SOPHIST GmbH)
Abstract: UML as a standardized language promises to be a cure for many problems during the development of large systems and/or software. Often, the man-agement’s opinion is: “Let’s speak UML, and we will improve the products’ quality and reduce the effort to build the products”
But, as always, it is not that easy. We have to think of many other issues, which are strictly related to that change of documentation. Especially in the requirements engineering phase, using UML will change the process, the methodology, the way of communication with stakeholders and developers and so on. Therefore, the introduction should be very well prepared, regarding many constraints such as the number of involved persons, their knowledge in this area, the organizational structure, the differences between projects and many more.
We do not want to focus on what the best methodology or the best process is. We want to present how to choose the best techniques for an introduction depending on various constraints, and answer one of the central questions: How to transfer the new knowledge to the involved people?
After 20 years of active involvement in the field of systems engineering I have gathered quite a nice collection: a company … 7 books … 40 employees … innumerable articles and lectures … and a lot of experience. This is presumably due to my passion for consulting – I have not only been managing personnel, challenging them and helping them develop their strengths, but I have also actively stayed in touch with the customer by working in and leading projects. It might also be due to a talent to gather the right team members around me. The vision that drives me is to put good ideas into practice in a way that gives developers, contract partners and users the certainty that they are dealing with a valuable, elaborate and beneficial product.
Dr. Stefan Queins, SOPHIST GmbH (www.sophist.de/stefan.queins)
After having completed my informatics degree, my doctorate covered the topic of “how to exploit the application’s subject to adapt the development process”. As consultant at SOPHIST I apply object-oriented methods and notations in the fields of system analysis and architecture for various systems, from purely business process-oriented software systems to very technical systems with hardware and software components. Beside that, I am involved in the introduction of customised process models in development projects. I also provide my above-mentioned knowledge in training sessions dealing with that. My interest in the fields of practical research continued after my doctorate and I apply the knowledge gained therein to my projects so that everybody benefits from it.
Personal interests: Since my earliest childhood I am committed to horse-riding . I am also an avid yachtsman and enjoy relaxing with Italian food and wine.