Answers to Selected Questions

Barry Boehm
CS 510, Pre Midterm 1
September 21, 2015

Risk and Time to Ship
Risk exposure- is there anything else that can mitigate risk exposure besides
time to ship? I noticed in the PowerPoint that as time to ship increases risk
exposure decreases. Is there anything related to evidence besides time to ship
that can cause risk exposure to fluctuate? (ICSM Principles 3 & 4; slide 20&21)

In slide 21, Time to Ship is only addressing risk due to unacceptable
dependability. As seen in slide 22, the risk of market share erosion increases
with time to ship. Risk management is all about balancing the sources of risk,
as seen in slide 23.

Loss due to unacceptable dependability Many defects: high P(L) Critical defects: high S(L) RE = P(L) * S(L) Few defects: low P(L) Minor defects: low S(L) Time to Ship (amount of testing) 8/31/2015 © USC-CSSE 3 . Example RE Profile: Time to Ship .

Example RE Profile: Time to Ship .Loss due to market share erosion Many defects: high P(L) Many rivals: high P(L) Critical defects: high S(L) Strong rivals: high S(L) RE = P(L) * S(L) Few rivals: low P(L) Weak rivals: low S(L) Few defects: low P(L) Minor defects: low S(L) Time to Ship (amount of testing) 8/31/2015 © USC-CSSE 4 .Loss due to unacceptable dependability .

Example RE Profile: Time to Ship .Sum of Risk Exposures Many defects: high P(L) Many rivals: high P(L) Critical defects: high S(L) Strong rivals: high S(L) RE = Sweet P(L) * S(L) Spot Few rivals: low P(L) Weak rivals: low S(L) Few defects: low P(L) Minor defects: low S(L) Time to Ship (amount of testing) 8/31/2015 © USC-CSSE 5 .

and the Post-architecture model in the late Valuation or Foundations phase. .Choosing Versions of COCOMO II With regard to the Early Design and Post-Architecture models in COCOMO II. If different parts are in different phases. when would choose one over the other/what is the appropriate point in the development lifecycle to transition from early design to post-architecture? What should you do if different parts are in different phases? In general. the Early Design model in the late Exploratory or early Valuation phase. it is best to follow the guidance above for each part. it is best to use the Applications Composition model in the Exploratory phase. It is best to try to have a Post- Architecture estimate by the end of the valuation phase.

developing its architecture and reusable components will reduce the needed effort. . There will still be some IDPD for the earlier releases if they need to be kept up to date. When a product line is feasible. Similar strategies will work for multiple product lines. particularly if the increments are subsequent releases of the product line. Other strategies such as identifying and modularizing around major sources of change will also reduce IDPD. when a software artifact must support multiple product lines? Does that have an unintended effect on the business case? Yes. Reducing IDPD Is it possible to minimize the effects of Incremental Development Productivity Decline (IDPD) through design decisions? Many of the examples in the book demonstrate that platform flexibility and reuse across product lines can make a good business case for trading additional early complexity for a product ecosystem that reuses earlier development work. How does this balance with IDPD.

Thus they are not covered in Homework 3. MedFRS Additional Personnel In HW3 table 7-3. . They could be continuing expenditures for a subsequent business case. discussed system upkeep and additional personnel figures. do we need to use this in calculations and if so how would they apply? The additional personnel are to be hired once the Initial Operational Capability is ready to be operated.

they can be custom calibrated. Calibrating COCOMO II So we learned about the A. C. B. How would I go about doing this? You can get a free COCOMO II calibration package from Softstar Systems called Calico by Googling on calico costar and clicking on the Softstar Systems website url. Let’s say I am a portfolio manager and I want to use my firm’s historical data to accomplish this. D variables in the COCOMO II model and Dr. Boehm mentioned that while the variables are based off empirical data. .

3. it says “the personnel factors are for rating the development team’s capability and experience.1. it says “The team cohesion scale factor accounts for the sources of project turbulence and entropy because of difficulties in synchronizing the project’s stakeholders. Maintainers.3. In other words. Customers.3. etc.) to collaborate. Suppliers. This source of effort is largely independent of the level of experience of the members of the Development team.1. The TEAM factor adds effort caused by difficulties in getting all of the success-critical stakeholder teams (Developers. Personnel and Team Factors Question I: In EP-2 page 47.2. Users. when developers are also stakeholders. not the individual. . about TEAM cohesion section 2. Highly experienced developers can sometimes be even less cooperative. about personnel factors section 2. inexperienced developers are counted twice by TEAM factor and personnel factors.” The question is how to deal with these factors when their sources are overlapped by each other.” In EP-2 page 34.4.

but we have found that the CMMI scale is roughly the same. and other activities that are SLOCC dependent. however in the Aerospace industry where they are CMMI compliant and requires activities such as Peer Reviewing. when the Software CMM was being used. SCM maintenance. Is there any cost estimation equation that links cost and schedule of software development and CMMI activities? . . improving by one CMMI level will decrese cost by about 10%. In general. Cost Effects of CMMI Levels . COCOMO II was developed in 1995-2000.15 in EP-2. The COCOMO II Process Maturity (PMAT) scale factor covers the cost effects of CMMI levels (see Table 2. Chapter 2 of the COCOMO II book). COCOMO II has the equation of calculating the schedule and cost for a software program development and maintenance.

And as above. Prototyping supports all four principles. and user interface for Principle 3. to see if it is well enough to be build-to specific product in the near future. in the book on page 44&45 discussing valuation and foundations phases. It involves concurrently engineering the system’s operational concept. It supports stakeholders’ incrementally committing to partial versions of the system for Principle 2. it supports stakeholders’ mutual understanding for Principle 1. there were some example of prototyping and using it to test with stakeholders. ex: providing prototypes for valued customer. requirements. Overlaps Among the ICSM Principles As for ICSM Principle 1. Need some specific explanation in these overlapping confusions. However. The ICSM principles are not meant to be mutually exclusive. isn’t this kind of action more like Principle 4 standards? Evidence Decision. it provides evidence of system feasibility for Principle 4. As with other good practices such as Teambuilding and Win-Win Negotiation. As above. to see the defects earlier and they could have caught the failure in early stage. .

and the performance characteristics of the RPVs and their controllers. or b) following one of the critical elements of effective commitment. but it fulfills some of the characteristics of prototyping as a way of buying information to reduce uncertainty and risk. Neither the customer nor the bidders had enough knowledge of these uncertainties to define or prioritize requirements. . rather than publishing a comprehensive proposal that encapsulated all of their wishes for the future of RPV. Would a better approach have been a) in order to facilitate incremental commitment. incremental commitment and accountability. the customer could have published a proposal prioritizing their requirements. There are other approaches. the winning bidder should have been forthcoming about both their ability to fulfill some requirements. competitive prototyping has a number of practical difficulties. or c) both? If both.2. what’s a good approach to finding that “sweet spot”? Is it just a matter of trial and error? If neither. Alternatives to Competitive Prototyping In the RPV failure story from the ICSM book Ch. some of its failure can be attributed to shortcomings with respect to Principle 2. are there other better approaches other than concurrent competitive prototyping? For the 4:1 RPV. As discussed at the end of Section 3. 3. such as the DARPA approach of offering million-dollar prizes for such feats as producing the fastest unpiloted ground vehicle to reach Las Vegas. on both the part of the customer and the winning bidder. the maturity of some of the technologies. there were many serious uncertainties about the nature of the missions to be supported.

.2 I'm having a little bit of trouble discerning between incremental commitment and risk- based decisions. and that’s OK. and some of the success stories succeed at all 4 of the principles. this would cause them to make bad commitments. Overlaps Among the ICSM Principles . It seems to me that if a team did well at making risk-based decisions. Am I correct in inferring this. or at least they seem very strongly connected to me. As seen in some of the stories. then they would be successful at making incremental commitments as well (since the risk would be too high to make the commitment if there was not enough evidence that the work could be done). some of the failure stories fail at all 4 of the principles. From this. it seems there is a causal relationship between Principle 4 and Principle 2. if they did poorly at making risk-based decisions. Conversely. or am I getting confused? As above. the principles overlap considerably.

where the contractor’s second phase overlaps with evaluation of their first phase. If it is not done thoroughly. Evaluating Competitive Prototyping In page 89 of the ICSM book. could they go to the second phase? Can you give an example for this? It is a nontrivial job to evaluate competitive prototypes. and require a versatile infrastructure for exercising several independently-developed prototypes. A thorough evaluation will take several months. and to have them answer questions and perform followup exercises of their prototypes. which is an extra expense in keeping prototype teams together and productive during often-overlong evaluation and decision periods. and thus cannot overlap the previous round or the next round. The best solution is for the customer to provide funds for keeping the core teams together. The evaluations determine the next round of prototypers. the losing competitor can protest the decision. it discusses the potential risks in the success story of the concurrent competitive prototyping RPV systems development. the second risk listed is from that page. I don’t understand how can the two phases be overlapped? If they didn’t finish the first phase. In the solution for HW2 question 5. The mitigation for this risk is to have contracts be for two phases. . The competitors can’t afford to keep their teams paid for several months while they wait to see if they are still in the competition. leading to many months delay in judging the protest.

could they go to the second phase? Can you give an example for this? As shown in the next chart. In the solution for HW2 question 5. which is an extra expense in keeping prototype teams together and productive during often-overlong evaluation and decision periods. I don’t understand how can the two phases be overlapped? If they didn’t finish the first phase. and mission priorities will make a project’s originally-determined requirements increasingly obsolete. it discusses the potential risks in the success story of the concurrent competitive prototyping RPV systems development. the wider will be the Second Cone of Uncertainty. The mitigation for this risk is to have contracts be for two phases. organization. and responding to competitive pressures and increasing costs. Simply following the original requirements will miss both capitalizing on new technology and saving costs. the second risk listed is from that page. The Second Cone of Uncertainty In page 89 of the ICSM book. the increasingly rapid rate of change in a product’s competition. . technology. The longer the period of development. where the contractor’s second phase overlaps with evaluation of their first phase.

technology. mission priorities 8/26/2015 Copyright © USC-CSSE 17 . organizations. The Cones of Uncertainty – Need incremental definition and development Uncertainties in competition.

is there a way we can use the existing documentation without violating the ICSM principles? (Chapter 0) If the project is relatively small. However.Skipping the Valuation and Foundations Phases What if a project was started using one of the traditional software development models. using the existing documentation for the whole project will run the risk of becoming obsolete per the Second Cone of Uncertainty. does skipping the valuation and exploration phase violate the ICSM principle? If yes. as the Second Cone of Uncertainty can be rebaselined for the next sprint or release. . proceeding incrementally (as with the MedFRS example) can reduce this risk. there is little risk of skipping the Valuation and Foundations phases and doing short agile sprints and releases. For larger projects. leaving us with a good documentation about the scope and technology about the project.

that will not be an exam question. ICSM and Waterfall In the exam. . and spiral model that has been covered in lecture 1? _For example. whether we will be asked the question related to other software models such as waterfall model. Since the waterfall model and most other models are special cases of the ICSM. the question: The ICSM is better than Waterfall in saving money true or false.

budget. and schedule without evidence that this approach was feasible. Since the RPV controllers would be stakeholders. .RPV Failure Story and Principle 2 REFERENCE: HW 2. it could also be called a failure with respect to Principle 1. RPV FAILURE STORY( FAILURE WITH RESPECT TO PRINCIPLE 2) Could you explain the failures with respect to Principle 2 which speaks about Incremental commitment and accountability since I lost points for that answer in my homework so I wondering if I got the concept wrong. The RPV failure story was a failure because it made a total commitment to a requirement. Thus it was an example of the need for Principles 2 and 4 as well as Principle 3.

. and incrementally developing the early-adopter project’s high-priority requirements first.2. the book and slides mostly focus on the success with respect to Principle 2.TRW-SPS and the 4 ICSM Principles In Chapter 2 section 2. It followed Principle 3 in incrementally defining the system’s technology and architecture choices.could you please determine how the success of TRW SPS is respecting to the other Principles of ICSM? TRW-SPS followed Principle 1 in asking stakeholders for their opinions about how best to improve productivity and including the results in the strategy.(and also part of principle 4 I think). It followed Principle 4 in assessing evidence of feasibility and risks of making the wrong commitments.

Since the risks are small on small projects it is less necessary to proceed with complete evidence of feasibility. 4 Page 98 A risk-based decision as in Principle 4 is one that avoids large risks. Reference: ICSM book Ch.Risks of Proceeding on Small and Large Projects 1. . than to forge ahead with a very large project with a very large cost of rework? Does he mean it is better to invest in evidence on small project than on large project because it can avoid the rework? I am confused with the meaning of this part. as compared to large projects. Why the author says it is less risky to proceed with the evidence shortfall on a small project with a small cost of rework.

such as the Master Net example in Chapter 2.gov example on section 0. There are numerous other examples.Decision Reviews Without Evidence Please explain how evidence serve as a important criterion at milestone decision reviews with real time example and its relation with respect to traditional schedule-based or event based reviews? (Ref: ICSM p 97) One explanation is the failure story of the Unaffordable Requirement where the project customer decided to proceed without evidence of feasibility. the failed RPV example in Chapter 3. and the healthcare. .7.

] Jim Alstad’s response is correct for Midterm 1. There is no guarantee that Midterm 2 and the Final Exam will follow last year’s formats.. if there are multiple sections how will they be weighted. but may involve business case formulas. Exam Format What will be the exam format? i. [Note: This may not be the type of question you were hoping for from this assignment.e. will there be T/F or multiple choice sections. in that the format follows last year’s Midterm 1 format: 2 calculation questions worth 30 and 40 points.. but it is one that I feel will help me best prepare for the exam. will the questions be similar to the homework (short answer). The calculations will not involve exotic parts of EP-2. .. and 10 true-false questions worth 3 points each.