Contract Statement

The objective of this research is to develop and apply a range of software productivity techniques and tools to enhance the performance of the New Zealand software industry. The key focus is software process and product improvement using advanced, model-based software visualisation methods and tools. We aim to develop leading-edge software process and product improvement techniques and tools for use by the NZ ICT industry to enhance the quality of their products and efficiency of their development processes.

We will undertake new research, extend international research, and apply that research locally in three key theme areas/objectives of:

  1. process and project management improvement;
  2. model-driven engineering and executable specifications; and
  3. software imaging and visualisation.

We will thus help NZ ICT companies significantly enhance their process and project management efficiency, and time-to-market, maintainability, and quality of their software products, reducing costs and increasing international competitiveness. Our aim is to ultimately realise large, measurable - 25-50% - process and product improvements for the NZ ICT companies we work with. A combination of qualatative survey of partner companies and quantative analysis of process and product indicators will be used to assess this impact.

We will project manage the research programme via the Centre for Software Innovation(CSI) at the University of Auckland. We will use state of the art project management processes and tools we currently use in the CSI for consultancy and industry-funded R&D. This includes issue tracking (JIRA), shared document repository (SVN), shared knowledge management (Confluence Wiki), and customer relationship management (Sugar). In addition, a public web site off the CSI web site for the project will be linked to these internal project management tools. We intend to apply the results of this project to the CSI's own process and project management tools and techniques, making the CSI an end user.

Relationships with NZ ICT companies will be managed via the CSI. Several surveys will be conducted of the NZ ICT industry to identify key SPPI challenges and current approaches for process/project/knowledge management, software metrics imaging & visualisation, and model-driven engineering, testing, requirements engineering and collaboration. From these periodic surveys we will identify best-fit companies interested in working with us and for each company identify one (or more) of three themes of particular interest to each company. We will identify a key person/people we can work with in each company in one or more theme area(s), scope a process or product improvement project with the company in this area, and identify the ways can best work together: current/emerging technology/process management needs i.e. where we can focus in order to best help; students/academics working at the potential end-user site; company staff with us in lab; use company software, process, PM etc info to test tools. We will then deploy tools/tool extensions on a real-world project and measure its impact. Follow-on company-funded R&D consulting will be targeted for company-specific work using the research outcomes.

An SPPI Advisory Group drawn from research leaders and key end users will guide the research project. Members will include the principal investigator, objective leaders, CSI Director, selected international leaders and selected partner ICT company senior management and technical staff.

Detailed information about the research programme, objective progress, research publications and software tools, workshops for industry, industrial partners and advisory group will be available from

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