UKSMA Annual Conference
September 7 @ 10:00 - 17:00
This conference focuses on perhaps the most important aspect in the development process, the statement of Requirements. Requirements have 2 major stakeholders, those responsible for building the software and those responsible for paying for it. This conference addresses the needs of the latter group who need to be able to agree a price and schedule they can in turn justify to their stakeholders. The key driver to a activities concerned with deriving cost and duration is the size of the statement of requirements.
Meaningful cost and duration can only be derived from “good” requirements. Good means the requirements are Complete, Correct and Consistent (CCC). The first step therefore is to understand just how “good” a set of requirements are. In the first session Dr Simon Wright of the Reuse Company will explain the techniques they use to identify the factors that contribute good requirements and how they are measured and analysed.
Requirements come in many forms and levels of completeness depending on the point in the lifecycle they are produced and who the intended audience is. The users of requirements fall into 2 camps, those who want certainty and need requirements to be completed in detail, and those who are accepting that uncertainty exists and that requirements must evolve over time. The most practical answer lies somewhere between the 2. In the second session Ivan Pinedo, a Senior Consultant with PREMIOS will explain how both needs can be satisfies using a Hybrid approach
An important consideration in the process of determining the cost and duration is the time and effort needed to do it,. Early in the lifecycle requirement are generally expressed in natural language understandable to all the stakeholders. Traditionally this has been a human-centred activity which consumes time and cost. However advances in natural language processing by machines have opened up the possibility of automating this process. Peter Fagg of Pentad-SE Ltd will explain the pre-requisites for successful automation of the requirements measurement process, and by way of a Case Study, demonstrate the benefit of automation by applying the result to a parametric estimating model and generate or update estimates of cost and duration in real-time
We normally consider measurement and estimates in terms of objective measures which are combined with other measures in a parametric model to calculate cost and duration. In the 4th session Steven Kitching, UK Manager of PREMIOS, will outline an approach to produce estimates based on experience rather than measurement. During the presentation he will discuss how to apply functional sizing in conjunction with other sizing techniques to generate and validate experience based estimates.
In the final session Charles Symons, who has presented at many major conferences, will discuss the merits or otherwise of two approaches to using measurements to control and improve the performance of activities The first he call the “Scatter gun”; the use of organization derived metric combined with external benchmarking services and/or commercial estimating tools, and the second he calls the “Rifle-shot” approach which uses only an organization’s own measurements, for a result more tuned to the actual development environment.