Welcome!

Java Authors: ITinvolve Blog, Plutora Blog, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Trevor Parsons

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
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness, and in-car entertainment and this excitement will bleed into other areas. On the commercial side, m...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by mining large volumes of unstructured data, and how data tracking delivers uptime when it matters most.
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!
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...
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
"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 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...