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Connecting the rationale for changes to the evolution of a process

: Ocampo, Alexis; Soto, Martin


Münch, Jürgen (Ed.); Abrahamsson, Pekka (Ed.):
8th International Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement, PROFES 2007. Proceedings : Riga, Latvia, July 2-4, 2007
Berlin: Springer, 2007 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 4589)
ISBN: 3-540-73459-7
ISBN: 978-3-540-73459-8
International Conference on Product Focused Software Process Improvement (PROFES) <8, 2007, Riga>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IESE ()
process evolution; rationale; process change; process management; resource description framework (RDF); process modeling; software modeling; model comparison; Evolyzer; Delta-P; V-Bench

In dynamic and constantly changing business environments, the need to rapidly modify and extend the software process arises as an important issue. Reasons include redistribution of tasks, technology changes, or required adherence to new standards. Changing processes ad-hoc without considering the underlying rationale of the process design can lead to various risks. Therefore, software organizations need suitable techniques and tools for storing and visualizing the rationale behind process model design decisions in order to optimally introduce future changes into their processes. We have developed a technique that support us in systematically identifying the differences between versions of a process model, and in connecting the rationale that motivated such differences. This results in a comprehensive process evolution repository that can be used, for instance, to support process compliance management, to learn from process evolution, or to identify and understand process variations in different development environments. In this article, we explain the underlying concepts of the technique, describe a supporting tool, and discuss our initial validation in the context of the German V-Modell XT process standard. We close the paper with related work and directions for future research.