Process Management Tools

Felix Garcia, Aurora Vizcaino, Christof Ebert
2011 IEEE Software  
Developing software is complex, especially with many interacting people and teams. A variety of tools exist to model the development process and thus facilitate communication, automation, and collaboration. This installment looks to support tools for process modeling and their underlying methodologies. It draws from trends discussed at recent IEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE) conferences. I look forward to hearing from both readers and prospective authors
more » ... this column and the technologies you want to know more about. -Christof Ebert AS A SOFTWARE practitioner, you know from your own experiences that the quality of the software created and delivered heavily depends on the quality of the underlying development process. To best introduce, communicate, use, and improve this development process, a variety of tools exist to support processes. 1-3 Process management tools support software teams in three ways: • Modeling. Defi ne consistent process models, thereby reducing any ambiguity about how the work should be done because well-defi ned and documented processes must be defi ned and consistently followed across all sites. • Collaboration. Share information and knowledge among different sites, thereby avoiding repeated mistakes or inconsistencies between different versions of information. • Automation. Provide tools to automate a process by means of workfl ows, thereby increasing engineering and development productivity across the life cycle because you're sharing information across tools, orchestrating interfaces, and maintaining work products. In this column, we outline a brief explanation about process modeling and management. Process Modeling Process modeling facilitates the human understanding and communication of processes, their automation, and their improvement. Although we can document simple processes on a sheet of paper, engineering processes often suffer from inadequate support, and thus aren't used or continuously improved. Process modeling helps in training processes, identifying weaknesses, seeing how different roles collaborate, and ultimately federating or integrating with engineering tools. In particular, distributed teams and ecosystems with several companies benefi t from such tools. 2, 3 We can group process models into two main categories. Descriptive models are aimed at describing processes and organizational behavior in terms of entities (activities, roles, tools, artifacts, and so on) and the relationships among them; active models are intended for building executable systems that support the enactment of processes. In literature, a wide range of process SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY
doi:10.1109/ms.2011.40 fatcat:gbldnblabbay7efftel2isugey