Projects of the Experimental Software Engineering Group at the University of Maryland

 

OPT:

Organization and Process Together

Problem

Software development organizations do not currently know how to ensure an efficient flow of information among developers. They do not know how to assess the information flow requirements of the development processes they choose. In addition, they do not know how or if their organizational context affects the level of effort required to meet the process's communication requirements. The lack of understanding of communication issues has several consequences. First of all, managers have no way to account for communication costs in their project planning. Additionally, they do not know how to identify or solve communication problems when they arise. Finally, we cannot begin to learn from experience about communication issues until we identify the important variables that affect communication efficiency.

Goal

Investigate the ways in which organizational structure affects the execution of a software development process. In particular, investigate how such characteristics of organizational structure as reporting relationships, past working relationships, and physical proximity, affect the amount of effort associated with process communication. Here, process communication is defined as communication between participants in the software development process, which is explicitly prescribed by the process.

Keywords

organizational structure, process, communication, management of software development, inspections, qualitative research, experimental software engineering

Participants

Carolyn B. Seaman, Vic Basili

References

Communication and Organization: An Empirical Study of Discussion in Inspection Meetings.
Carolyn B. Seaman and Victor R. Basili, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 24(6), June 1998.

Communication and Organization in Software Development: An Empirical Study.
Carolyn B. Seaman and Victor R. Basili, IBM Systems Journal, 36(4), 1997.

An empirical study of communication in code inspections.
Carolyn B. Seaman and Victor R. Basili. In Proc. of the 1997 International Conference on Software Engineering, Boston, MA, May 17-24, 1997.

Organizational Issues in Software Development: An Empirical Study of Communication.
C. Seaman, PhD Thesis, Computer Science Department, University of Maryland, Technical Report CS-TR-3726, UMIACS Technical Report UMIACS-TR-96-94, 1996.
Communication and Organization in Software Development: An Empirical Study.
Carolyn B. Seaman and Victor R. Basili, Computer Science Department, University of Maryland, Technical Report CS-TR-3619, UMIACS Technical Report UMIACS-TR-96-23, and ISERN Technical Report ISERN-96-04.
Using the OPT improvement approach in the SQL/DS development environment.
C. Seaman, Presented at CASCON'94, Toronto, November 1994
OPT: An approach to organizational and process improvement.
Carolyn B. Seaman, and Victor R. Basili, Position paper presented at the AAAI Symposium on Computational Organization al Design, March 1994.
OPT: Organization and Process Together.
Carolyn B. Seaman, and Victor R. Basili, Position paper presented at the International Software Process Workshop , October 1994.

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Last updated: March 20, 1998 by Carolyn Seaman