AHAA: Integrated assessment tool for plan-driven and agile processes

Fergal McCaffery, Minna Pikkarainen, Ita Richardson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleProfessional


    In the automotive industry, there has been significant growth in the amount of software required to ensure efficient and safe cars. Software development projects are also often troubled by time and budget overruns resulting in systems that do not fulfill customer requirements. Therefore, a strategy is required to combine reducing the long software production lifecycles (as required by time-to-market demands) with increasing the quality of the software developed for the automotive domain. Software process improvement (SPI) provides the first step in the move towards software quality, and assessments are a vital part of this process. Unfortunately, software process assessments are often expensive and time consuming. Additionally, they often provide companies with a long list of issues without providing realistic improvement suggestions. The increasing need for software in the automotive industry provides small-tomedium- sized (SMEs) organizations with a good opportunity to work as software suppliers for the large car manufacturing companies. In order to achieve this they have to provide high quality software in an acceptable timeframe and with low cost. Agile practices provide a mechanism to improve these aspects but are not easy to adopt as an approach for developing safety critical software [13]. On the other hand, while plandriven methods are seen as more heavyweight, they are more accepted in critical environments [31]. This chapter describes a new low overhead hybrid assessment method that has been designed specifically for SMEs who are working towards becoming automotive software suppliers. The assessment method presented in this paper integrates the plan-driven SPI models of Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) and Automotive SPICETM with the flexibility of agile practices. The inclusion of Automotive SPICETM in this model ensures that it also focuses on the automotive software sector. The chapter presents how this method was used within a small software development organization and illustrates how "goal-based" improvements may be achieved through adopting a combination of plan-driven and agile based recommendations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAutomotive Industry
    Subtitle of host publicationTechnical Challenges, Design Issues and Global Economic Crisis
    EditorsGordan A. Maxwell, Stuart K. Drummond
    PublisherNova Science Publishers
    Number of pages32
    ISBN (Print)978-160876143-2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible


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