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Predictive Control of Requirement Stability

Predictive Control of Requirement Stability

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Published by: Arulraj on Feb 19, 2010
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PREDICTIVE CONTROL OF REQUIREMENT STABILITY
Ravi Soundararajan,
862/4, 64th street, 10th sector,
K.K. Nagar, Chennai-78, Tamil Nadu, India.
Phone :-044-24722898
e-mail : sound_ravi@yahoo.com
ABSTRACT

Managing Requirements Stability in a software projec t is a science and art with numerous challenges.This is a key factor in ensuring successful completion of software projects on time, with good quality and within budget.Proactive prediction and on-going management of Requirements Stability levels with suitable corrective actions is very vital for managers to have control on the project and ensure success of project. Objective of this paper is to describe use of advanced predictive process control techniques for effective management of requirement stability. This paper deals with predicting Requirements Stability, measuring Voice of process, based on which a control wizard suggests suitable corrective actions. Over and above this the paper also prescribes how to proactively handle external disturbing factors and mitigate them.Paper also touches upon a tool developed for implementation of the model.Interdiscplinary concepts like applied statistics,six sigma, industrial process control are applied in this paper.

Abbreviations
PV
-
Process variable (Requirement Stability Index in our case)
TV
-
Target Value (Desired value of process variable)
AXN
-
Action to be taken (for the process variable to catch up Desired
value)
Td
-
Time taken for a change in the process variable in response to an
action
Ts
-
Time constant (Time taken for reaching 63% of steady state
value)
Error
-
Current Process value - Target value (PV \u2013 TV)
RSI
-
Requirement Stability Index
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1. INTRODUCTION

Despite the availability of many SDLC methodologies/models, there is always a requirement
creep, due to the increasing challenges. Changing requirements causes problems in many
ways, for instance code patches are difficult to maintain, insertion of code affects cohesion and
coupling, also the Architecture can slowly crumble.As part of our quest for continuous
improvement we get improvised models for managing requirements over a period. This model in
addition to providing early signals of warning, also prescribes a guideline for taking timely and
appropriate actions well in advance, to control requirement stability. It makes possible to
effectively manage the cost,schedule and quality of software projects by proactively monitoring
and controlling requirement stability levels.

2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM - BACKGROUND
Managing the Requirement Stability levels and thus assuring good product quality levels on time
and within budget is a science and art with numerous challenges. Proactive prediction of
Requirement Stability levels and taking appropriate corrective and preventive actions in early

stage/phase of Software Development helps managers to have tight control over the project and
thus a better say on product quality. The objective of this paper is to briefly explain the use of
some advanced process control techniques for improving software processes. The paper also
describes the various challenges faced in applying the advanced predictive control techniques
in software environment, how they were tackled and the results of application. The paper also
illustrates the benefits, potential benefits and lessons learnt in implementation.

This paper introduces a new advanced Predictive the process, based on which suitable level of control actions are suggested. The algorithmic control Control Model for deployment in software Requirement Stability management. The objective of this model is not only limited to predicting the Requirement Stability levels, but also to measure the voice of paper.The paper also touches upon the tool developed for easy implementation of the model. approach ensures effective control of the situation.

This model helps to make the art of Requirement management more scientific. Interdisciplinary concepts and techniques like applied statistics, industrial process control, six sigma, non-linear dynamics, mathematical expectations are applied in this

3. SOLUTION - Predictive Requirement Stability Control Model
Following are the steps involved in the model:-
3.1 Design of Proactive predictor for Requirement Stability:- This is about arriving at a
predictor equation for the Requirement Stability using the Best practice of Boiler efficiency
calculation technique
3.2 Determine the Voice of the Process :- This is about Quantification; ie measuring the
efficiency,capability of process in response to action taken.
3.3 Control Wizard design :- This is about determining the settings of the control wizard,
which recommends appropriate level of actions, getting a Algorithm-advised Corrective Actions.
3.4 Tuning Control Wizard :-This is about periodically studying the voice of process and
adjust the settings of the control wizard accordingly.
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3.5 Use of Tool :- Brief mention about the tool used to deploy the advanced predictive control
model.
3.1 Design of Proactive predictor for Requirement Stability

First challenge was in arriving at a suitable model for predicting the requirement stability. This needs to be designed by indepth study of the problem variable.Based on the process expertise and data collected the factors that influence requirement stability are arrived at. Now how to relate them to the requirement stability?

The idea of designing the predictor model is inherited from the best practice in manufacturing of \u201cBoiler Efficiency calculation by Heat Loss method\u201d. Here the efficiency of boiler is assumed as 100% to start with and various losses like radiation loss, combustion loss are subtracted from 100% and finally Boiler Efficiency is arrived at. Similarly the Requirement stability is assumed as 100% to start with and various losses in Requirement stability due to non-execution/inadequate execution of vital activities are subtracted from 100% and finally predicted requirement stability is arrived at. Some of the criteria used are

\u2022
All User classes,Subject Matter Experts,Customer IT personnel identified and
they had contributed to Requirements
\u2022 Domain expertise of Requirement elicitor(able to speak customer lingo,thorough
understanding of customer's business)
\u2022
If reverse engineered, our understanding of existing application is approved by
customer,customer's likes and dislikes of existing system captured
\u2022
Boundary of System(in scope/ out of scope) clearly defined
\u2022
User spent enough time in providing,clarifying Requirements
\u2022

Requirements ratification process is exhaustive( Presented,Discussed and agreed by end users,customer-IT,Subject Matter Experts and Business Decision maker)

\u2022
Quality of inputs/modes of communication used for requirement gathering is
adequate(discussed with user classes in addition to mails,chats etc, walked through
documents of existing system )
Thus, Requirement Stability Index (0 \u2013 100%, higher the better) is
RSI = 100 +w1C1 + w2C2+w3C3 + \u2026.+wNCN
where ,
C1 , C2\u2026. CN are various criteria;
w1, w2\u2026.wN are individual weightages of each criterion ;

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