Based on Affiliate feedback at our recent COCOMO®/Software Cost Modeling Forum and Affiliate workshops, we have decided to revisit the issues involved in Agile Methods at our upcoming USC Center for Software Engineering Annual Research Review and Executive Workshop, March 18-21, 2003, on the USC campus in Los Angeles.

Another reason for selecting Agile Methods is to give you a preview of a book that Rich Turner and I have been writing called, "Balancing Agility and Discipline: A Guide for the Perplexed." It tries to assess the relative strengths and difficulties involved in using agile and disciplined methods, and to provide guidelines for when to use each, and on how they can be feasibly combined. We have found that risk considerations provide a good basis for developing strategies and making decisions about agile and disciplined methods, but would like to explore alternative approaches as wall. Several leading members of the agile and disciplined software communities have expressed interest in participating, so we should have a stimulating workshop.

At our Annual Research Review March 18, we will have a good deal of progress to show and tell you about in our various research areas. We have had the good fortune to be able to work with DARPA, the US Army, Boeing, SAIC, the SEI, and the University of Maryland to address the software challenges involved in the path-breaking Future Combat System of Systems, and will summarize some of the new results emerging from that effort. Neno Medivdovic and his group are getting some early adopters of his architecture-driven mobile systems software infrastructure and tools. And we have some new results in the COCOMO® suite of estimation models, on empirical methods and processes for developing COTS-based systems, and in our new Value-Based Software Engineering initiative. You can find information on these, and the results from this year's Agile Methods and COCOMO® Suite workshops, on our website at http://sunset.usc.edu. We will also provide further information there on the March 2003 events soon. Here is an overview of the agenda (I have also included couple of before-and-after specialty workshops).