Welcome!

Java Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Trevor Parsons, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Java, .NET, Linux

SOA & WOA: Book Review

Book Review: The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model

Principles and Practices for Successful Systems and Software

Processes are not documented and reused by a set of individuals because they lead to failure. Like design patterns, they are documented and reused because they lead to success.

They are all put together by very talented people who have successfully used them to develop software multiple times. For them the process is easy to use and understand. The teams that have not used it have a steep learning curve ahead of them. Just looking at the diagram of a pattern or process, definitely will lead you to failure every time.

I have seen Waterfall, Spiral, RUP, OpenUP, and Scrum all fail multiple times each because project managers, architects, developers, CIOs, and IT managers have only gone as far as looking at the diagram of the process they choose to use. They apply practices and principles they already know to the models instead of the ones that go with the models. The principles and practices that are behind the model must be learned and used in order to succeed.

I assume this is a trick insanity plays on them. Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. They thought renaming and reordering what they already do was actually changing.

This book is required reading if you want to understand the Incremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM) and it's related diagrams. If you are not going to read the book, please do not attempt to use the diagram. After a very nice introduction it is broken down into five parts including the afterword. I have list each part and the chapters it includes below.

0. Introduction
Part I: The Four ICSM Principles
1. The First Principle: Stakeholder Value-Based Guidance
2. The Second Principle: Incremental Commitment and Accountability
3. The Third Principle: Concurrent Multidiscipline Engineering
4. The Fourth Principle: Evidence- and Risk-Based Decisions

Part II: ICSM Life Cycle and Stage I: Incremental Definition
5. The ICSM Life Cycle
6. Exploration Phase
7. Valuation Phase
8. Foundations Phase

Part III: Stage II: Incremental Development and Evolution
9. Development Phase
10. System Production and Operations

Part IV: Applying ICSM to Your Organization
11. ICSM Patterns and Common Cases
12. ICSM and Your Organization
13. Evidence-Based Life-Cycle Management
14. Cost and Schedule Evidence Development
15. Risk–Opportunity Assessment and Control

Afterword
Appendix A. Evidence Evaluation Framework
Appendix B. Mapping between ICSM and Other Standards
Appendix C. A Value-Based Theory of Systems Engineering

Don't make the mistake of looking at this book and saying "oh, it's that old model again", it's not the 1988 spiral model- A Spiral Model of Software Development and Enhancement. The 1988 spiral model began the long process leading to the spiral model in this book, the Incremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM).

Developing software correctly is easy. The hard part is having all the skills needed to do that. Since most teams do not possess the skills needed to easily execute a software development process, they usually have a hard time. Even those who gave it their best shot learning the practices and principles behind the 1988 model had a hard time succeeding.

Within a short time the feedback that reached Dr. Boehm lead him to claim "What we really need are process model generators". I agree 100%. Implementing a development process instance for a given project is the only way to correctly use software development processes. Just as important, if not more important, is the ability to understand what is happening with your project and to change the process as needed. Teams seem to have a much harder time with that. Luckily that is what we got with this book.

Software process engineering allows you to account for your team's skills and availability, your businesses needs, the tools you have available, the environment you are working in, the difficulty of the solution, the working environment - team member locations, greenfield vs. brownfield development, and many more things that are usually not taken into consideration at all. Software process engineering not only gives you the instance to work with, it also allows for tailoring the process to meet the needs of the project as circumstances change throughout the project.

People leave, laws changes, hurricanes happen (although that didn't stop us- dumb, dumb, dumb), people get sick, and so on. The point is your process must be as agile and resilient as your software. That means the process must be changeable.

I have sat in a room watching project managers and business users debate for hours about what to do now that they have discovered the next 3 sprints will take 3-4 weeks and not the 2 weeks they had agreed on.

1/2 of them wanted to split functionality (user stories) to meet the 2 week mark and add it back later with 3 more sprints but that would really mean 4 extra sprints because splitting the functionality adds complexity to the programming. Some of them wanted to borrow a few developers, while others just wanted to pretend they didn't know and just start the next 2 weeks after they got done this sprint. No deliverables or tests, just keep going and hope they weren't questioned. All of this is non-transparent nonsense, and is anything but agile.

This book is not a software development process. The author's say "The ICSM is not a single, one-size-fits-all process. It is actually a process generator…". The book did not meet my expectation of what that means to me. In order for it to be a process generator, it would need to reference one or more specific process asset repositories which can be configured into an instance of a process.

That does not detract from the value of the book, because we already have enough process asset repositories. My perception of the content of the book is that it is material that will help you audit, adjust, and manage a software process. That is needed more in today's industry. The rest of the sentence that begins the paragraph above is consistent with my understanding of the book's content- "… that steers your process in different directions, depending on your particular circumstances."

One very cool thing about this book is that the material is available online. The material has been published from Eclipse Process Framework. At least it looks like it to me. There are two sites, The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM) and The Instructional Incremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM) Electronic Process Guide. The Instructional Incremental Commitment Spiral Model (ICSM) Electronic Process Guide is a version of ICSM which is tailored to fit the nature of CSCI577ab Software Engineering Class.

The one thing that drove me kind of nuts while reading this book is the very heavy use of acronyms. They probably drove me crazy because they brought back flashbacks of being in the Army and working for the State of PA.

The thing I liked most about this book is the honesty found in it. An example is found in the first paragraph of the Preface- "Rumor has it, however, that some people would rather deliver an unsuccessful system so that they can continue being paid to make it successful; rumor also doubts those people will read this book." They also present failure stories for each success story, which really helps to keep the book grounded in reality.

All in all I found this book an excellent read. It contains a ton of wisdom gathered over a very long period of time.


The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model: Principles and Practices for Successful Systems and Software

The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model: Principles and Practices for Successful Systems and Software

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

@ThingsExpo Stories
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...