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Interdisciplinary risk management. A position paper

: Hartkopf, S.; Kaiser, P.; Freimut, B.

urn:nbn:de:0011-n-191585 (137 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 6a48896c7408aded75f9193ea7900e84
Erstellt am: 26.11.2003

Kaiserslautern, 2003, VII, 7 S. : Lit.
IESE-Report, 091.03/E
Reportnr.: 091.03/E
Bericht, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software engineering; risk management; Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA); mechanical engineering; electrical engineering

This position paper proposes that established "intradisciplinary" risk management techniques must be extended to be applicable in interdisciplinary projects, where by intradisciplinary means that a technique was designed for one specific discipline only, e.g., for the application in pure software projects. This extension is necessary as market trends show in general a shift from intradisciplinary to interdisciplinary projects that integrate processes from more than one engineering discipline such as software, mechanical, and/or electrical engineering. For example, in the automotive industry, more and more functionality is and will be provided by software, in addition to conventional mechanical and electrical components. Independently of any discipline, risk management is recognized as a very important project management activity to successfully perform a project. So far, projects managers apply - if at all - existing, intradisciplinary risk management techniques to their projects. They use techniques, they are familiar with, neglecting the fact, that their projects mutated to interdisciplinary projects. They hardly can do better, as risk management techniques, that cover the needs of interdisciplinary projects are still missing.
In this paper we address the needs of a specific domain, the automotive industry. We propose a risk management technique that is well established in its original discipline and takes into account the characteristics of other engineering disciplines. The major benefit of picking up an intradisciplinary technique and adapting it, lies in the better acceptance and higher familiarity with an established technique, so that on one hand the project team must not learn something totally new and on the other hand the entire project team works with one uniform technique. With our position statement we argue, that there is a need to adapt the Failure Mode and Effects Analyses (FMEA) to cope with software development. FMEA is a well-established risk management technique in the German automotive industry. It shall be adapted to address the increasing number of software components in automotives. This statement is scrutinized by a number of questions in the course of the paper.