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Architecture knowledge management during system evolution: observations from practitioners
SEI, CMU,United States .
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2726-4503
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3986-1196
2010 (English)In: Proceedings of the 2010 ICSE Workshop on Sharing and Reusing Architectural Knowledge, 2010, p. 52-59Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

It is widely accepted that awareness of architectural decisions enables better management and planning of system evolution, refactoring, and modernization efforts. In this paper we report data from interviews with software architects about how practitioners utilize architecture during system evolution. Our results show, despite the widely shared view that long-lived systems are better off with strong architectures; basic architecture-centric practices are not followed systematically. The key gap we observe is in correct and timely communication of architectural issues. This overall finding is not surprising. However, our data also contributes to how architecture knowledge management activities can be focused for most benefit throughout a system's lifespan. While the often-referenced problem is lack of time spent on documentation and design practices, our interviews show that lack of quality attribute reasoning early on, and during the lifespan of the system is a key contributor to failing to use architecture knowledge effectively during evolution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. p. 52-59
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-10863DOI: 10.1145/1833335.1833343Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-78649884682ISBN: 9781605589671 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-10863DiVA, id: diva2:369202
Conference
2010 ICSE Workshop on Sharing and Reusing Architectural Knowledge, SHARK 2010, in Conjunction with the 32nd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2010; Cape Town; South Africa; 2 May 2010 through 8 May 2010
Available from: 2010-11-10 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Identifying and Managing Key Challenges in Architecting Software-Intensive Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Identifying and Managing Key Challenges in Architecting Software-Intensive Systems
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In many traditional industry applications, such as automotive, process automation and manufacturing automation, software plays a crucial role as an enabler for the introduction of new functionality and retaining competitiveness. The system and software architecture plays an important part in ensuring the systems’ qualities. However, the design of the architecture may be neglected during system development, whilst development efforts are centered on implementing new functionality. The architecture is supposed to support and enable key quality attributes such as safety, reliability, maintainability and flexibility, and so on. This thesis identifies some of the key issues in architecting these software intensive systems. In total, 21 issues have been identified; examples of these issues are (1) there is a lack of process for architecture development, (2) there is a lack of method or model to evaluate business value when choosing architecture, (3) there is a lack of clear long-term architectural strategy, and (4) processes and methods are less valued than individuals’ knowledge and competence. Through a series of workshops, root causes were identified for a selection of these issues. Based on these root causes, five success factors were identified. The success factors are (1) define an architectural strategy (2) implement a process for architectural work (3) ensure authority for architects (4) clarify the business impact of the architecture and (5) optimize on the project portfolio level instead of optimizing each project. In an attempt to provide a possible solution to some of the issues, a method has been created to evaluate how new functionality is successfully integrated into an existing architecture. The method is a combination of the Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method, ATAM, and the Analytical Hierarchy Process, AHP. The method firstly supports a structured way of listing system goals, and secondly, it also supports design decision-making. Since several issues relate to the organization and are affected by management, a comparison was made between the view of management and architects. This study revealed that one cause for the lack of focus on architecture could be that the existing performance measurement systems used by management all focus on the later phases of development when the architecture is already set.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2011
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 96
National Category
Information Systems Software Engineering
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-11816 (URN)978-91-7485-004-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-03-18, Beta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
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CoSy
Available from: 2011-02-14 Created: 2011-02-12 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Axelsson, Jakob

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