Title: A performability approach for evaluating the impact of risks in software development

Authors: Alexsandro Melo; Eduardo Tavares; Erica Sousa; Bruno Nogueira; Paulo Maciel

Addresses: Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), Center for Informatics (CIn), Recife, Brazil ' Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), Center for Informatics (CIn), Recife, Brazil ' Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), Center for Informatics (CIn), Recife, Brazil ' Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), Center for Informatics (CIn), Recife, Brazil ' Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), Center for Informatics (CIn), Recife, Brazil

Abstract: Successful software projects are still an important challenge for the industry. In this context, risks deserve particular attention, since they may lead to project failure. Several techniques have been proposed to evaluate the effects of such undesirable issues, but probability estimates are usually neglected, affecting a proper evaluation of risks. The primary objective of this study is the adoption of dependability and performability techniques for probabilistic evaluation of development risks in software projects. This work utilises dependability and performability models, based on stochastic Petri nets and reliability block diagrams, for quantitative evaluation of risks regarding the developer turnover and requirement implementation in software development projects. Besides, the proposed approach also considers fault-tolerance techniques to mitigate the impact of risks. The case studies contemplate two real-world software projects with developer turnover and requirement implementation as remarkable risks. The proposed models are utilised for risk assessment, and techniques, such as dynamic redundancy and periodic meetings, are adopted to improve project availability. The proposed experiments demonstrate project managers have a prominent tool to evaluate risks and different configurations to avoid or mitigate these undesirable issues.

Keywords: dependability; performance evaluation; risk assessment; reliability block diagrams; RBD; stochastic Petri nets; SPNs; software development; fault tolerance; software projects; developer turnover; requirements implementation; dynamic redundancy; periodic meetings; project management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSETA.2015.075635

International Journal of Software Engineering, Technology and Applications, 2015 Vol.1 No.2/3/4, pp.261 - 289

Available online: 30 Mar 2016 *

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