Using Simulation to Visualise and Analyse Product-Process Dependencies in Software Development Projects
The core element of the PROFES improvement methodology is the concept of product-process dependency (PPD) models. The purpose of PPD models is to help focus process improvement activities to those development technologies and processes that are most effective with regards to achieving specific customer-defined product quality goals. This paper describes how system dynamics simulation models can be used to check the plausibility of achieving positive effects on software product quality when implementing improvement actions derived from PPD models. Basically, this is done through extending an existing generic software project simulation model with structures that represent expected local cause-effect mechanisms of the PPD models. By running simulations with the extended software project simulation model, the potential effects of the PPD models on product quality can be investigated at low cost before conducting pilot applications in real projects.