Towards virtual software configuration management : a case study
Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland,
|Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Auditorium GO101, on May 30th, 2000, at 12 noon.
The organisational performance of software companies has become critically important. While customer requirements are changing and varying ever more frequently, and an effective management of the software process is becoming more and more essential, the appropriateness of current software development models has became questionable. One of the current global trends in software development is transorganisational collaborative work in distributed, dynamic teamwork environments, called Virtual Software Corporations (VSC).
The virtual environment presents particular challenges to Software Configuration Management (SCM), while the rate of change concerning the size, complexity and duration of software projects is increasing constantly. While there is a clear need for VSCs to analyse and improve their SCM processes, they may approach the subject from rather different angles. Generally, when analysing the current status of the software process, it is vital to understand what the context of the process is and what activities it includes. On the other hand, our study makes it evident that VSCs present new kinds of challenges to SCM that can not be solved by means of traditional SCM procedures and techniques only.
Furthermore, many of the VSC variants are likely to realise that the increasing complexity and number of their software processes also affect the SCM process directly. Hence, a sound understanding of the specific context is required for analysing and improving the SCM in a VSC. Gaining extensive knowledge of the SCM-related requirements for industrial VSCs can thus be considered a prerequisite for enhancing the process description. This dissertation presents an approach for defining the SCM requirements for a VSC. On the basis of a requirements analysis, an expanded SCM process description is introduced. As a result, this dissertation introduces an enhanced approach to SCM process analysis and improvement for the distinct context of a VSC environment.