Successful Multi-Project Test of Win Win Spiral Model and Tools

Barry Boehm, USC-CSE

At the USC Center for Software Engineering, we have been conducting research* on a new life-cycle process model and set of distributed groupware tools to better support development needs for software-intensive systems. Particularly important future needs include rapid cycle time, distributed interactive multimedia products, distributed interactive development teams, and high quality measured by mutual satisfaction of all the system's key stakeholders (users, customers, developers, maintainers, others).

The resulting capability integrates a management approach (Theory W: stakeholder win-win); a process model (the risk driven Spiral Model); a set of process anchor points (LCO: Life Cycle Objectives; LCA: Life Cycle Architecture; IOC: Initial Operation Capability); and a set of Web-based collaboration tools (the Win Win system). We have been iterating and experimentally applying these with our Affiliates** , and also applying them in our student project courses.

Our biggest test of the approach to date has been its application to a set of 13 USC Library multimedia applications involving 15 six-person student teams. The students worked with librarian clients to concurrently develop LCO and LCA versions of an Operational Concept Description, Requirements Description, Architecture Description, Life Cycle Plan, Operational Prototype, and a sixth Rationale Description demonstrating consistency and feasibility of the first five artifacts. These were developed using the Win Win toolset, two cycles of the Win Win Spiral Model, and other best practices such as AT&T's Architecture Review Boards.

The accompanying article summarizes the results to date. Based on the successful Fall 1996 results, we and the Library have chosen 6 of the projects to carry through IOC in our Spring 1997 software engineering course. More information on the approach and tools can be found at the USC-CSE Web site at http://sunset.usc.edu

Reference to the USC Chronicle article: Library Gives Real-World Challenges to Student Software Designers