Journal on Data Semantics

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 107–132 | Cite as

Using Semantic Documentation to Support Software Project Management

  • Erick Casagrande Bastos
  • Monalessa Perini BarcellosEmail author
  • Ricardo de Almeida Falbo
Original Article


Project management is a key process for software projects. Nowadays, there are several tools that support project management activities. However, the existence of such tools did not eliminate the use of documents for documenting the outcomes of the project management process. Text documents and spreadsheets are used to support communication between stakeholders and understanding about the project. These documents are generally developed to be understood by humans and not by computers. Thus, the access to the document content typically depends on human intervention. Retrieving information from documents can be not trivial, especially when it is distributed in several documents. A semantic documentation approach can be used to deal with this issue. Combining ontologies and documents by adding semantic annotations to documents makes the document content interpretable by computers and can help diminish the burden of gathering information later on. In this paper, we present a semantic documentation approach for supporting software project management, providing a way to get useful information from data recorded in documents and spreadsheets related to scope, time and cost management. For this, we developed the first version of a Software Project Management Ontology, which is integrated into the Software Engineering Ontology Network. This ontology is used to annotate documents and spreadsheets and to develop features to support scope, time and cost management activities. These features were implemented in the Infrastructure for Managing Semantic Documents in Software Project Management, which was evaluated through an experimental study.


Semantic documentation Project management Ontology Semantic annotation 



This research is funded by the Brazilian Research Funding Agency CNPq (Processes 485368/2013-7 and 461777/2014-2).


  1. 1.
    Anantatmula V, Rad P (2013) Linkages among project management maturity, PMO, and project success. In: International conference on engineering, technology and innovation (ICE) and IEEE international technology management conference, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arantes LO, Falbo RA (2010) An infrastructure for managing semantic documents. In: Joint 5th international workshop on vocabularies, ontologies and rules for the enterprise (VORTE)—international workshop on metamodels, ontologies and semantic technologies (MOST)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bastos E, Barcellos MP, Falbo RA (2015) Exploring ontologies for semantic documentation in project management. In: Ontobras, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bastos E, Barcellos MP, Falbo RA (2016) Semantic documentation in project management. In: XV Brazilian symposium on software quality, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Barros MDO, Neto ACD (2011) Threats to validity in search-based software engineering empirical studies. Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de JaneiroGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Berners-Lee T, Hendler J, Lassila O (2001) The semantic web. Sci Am 284(5):34–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brank J, Grobelnik M, Mladenić D (2005) A survey of ontology evaluation techniques. In: Conference on data mining and data warehouses (SiKDD 2005)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bringuente AC, Falbo RA, Guizzardi G (2011) Using a foundational ontology for reengineering a software process ontology. J Inf Data Manag 2(3):511Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    CMMI (2010) CMMI for Development, Version 1.3. Software Engineering InstituteGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    D’Aquin M, Gangemi A (2011) Is there beauty in ontologies? J Appl Ontol 6(3):165–175Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Elkaffas SM, Wagih AS (2013) Use of semantic Wiki as a capturing tool for lessons learned in project management. In: Science and information conference, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Eriksson H, Bang M (2006) Towards document repositories based on semantic documents. In: I-KNOW ’06Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Eriksson H (2007) The semantic-document approach to combining documents and ontologies. Int J Hum Comput Stud 65(7):624–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Falbo RA (2014) SABiO: systematic approach for building ontologies. In: 1st joint workshop ONTO.COM/ODISE on ontologies in conceptual modeling and information systems engineeringGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Falbo RA, Barcellos MP, Nardi JC, Guizzardi G (2013) Organizing ontology design patterns as ontology pattern languages. In: 10th European semantic web conference—ESWC fRANCE, pp 61–75Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Falbo RA, Braga CEC, Machado BN (2014) Semantic documentation in requirements engineering. In: 17th workshop on requirements engineering (WER 2014), Pucón, ChileGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Fleming QW, Koppleman JM (1999) Earned value project management, 2nd edn. Project Management Institute, PennsylvaniaGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Graaf KAD, Tang A, Liang P, Vliet HV (2012) Ontology-based software architecture documentation. In: Joint 10th working IEEE/IFIP conference on software architecture and 6th European conference on software architecture (WICSA/ECSA), Helsinki, Finland, pp 121–130Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Guizzardi G (2005) Ontological foundations for structural conceptual models. University of Twente, EnschedezbMATHGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Guizzardi G (2007) On ontology, ontologies, conceptualizations, modeling languages and (meta)models. In: Vasilecas JEO, Albertas C (eds) Frontiers in artificial intelligence and applications, databases and information systems IV. IOS Press, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Guizzardi G, Falbo RA, Guizzardi RSS (2008) Grounding software domain ontologies in the Unified Foundational Ontology(UFO): the case of the ODE software process ontology. In: XI Iberoamerican workshop on requirements engineering and software environments, Recife, Brazil, pp 244–251Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hillson D (2003) Assessing organizational project management capability. J Facil Manag 2(3):298–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    ISO/IEC (2008) Information technology—software lifecycle processes. Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Jessen S (2011) The impact on project success of using technology in modern project planning and control. In: International technology management conference, California, EUA, pp 944–948Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Leifler O, Eriksson H (2009) Domain-specific Knowledge Management in a Semantic Desktop. In: I-KNOW ’09 9th international conference on knowledge management and knowledge technologies, Graz, Austria, pp 360–365Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lethbridge TC, Singer J, Forward A (2003) How software engineers use documentation: the state of the practice. IEEE Softw 20(6):35–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Loukis EN (2007) An ontology for G2G collaboration in public policy making, implementation and evaluation. Artif Intell Law 15(1):19–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lu Q, Chen M, Wang Z (2008) A semantic annotation-based software knowledge sharing space. In: IFIP international conference on network and parallel computing (NPC), ChinaGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Nakatsuka K, Ishida T (2006) Content management for inter-organizational projects using e-mail metaphor. In: International symposium on applications and the internet (SAINT), Phoenix, Arizona, USA, pp 202–205Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nesic S (2010) Semantic document architecture for desktop data integration and management. University of Lugano, LuganoGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    OASIS (2017) Open document format for office applications. Accessed 18 Apr 2017
  32. 32.
    PMI (2013) A guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK), 5th edn. Project Management Institute, PennsylvaniaGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Popov B, Kiryakov A, Kirilov A, Manov D, Ognyanoff D, Goranov M (2003) KIM-semantic annotation platform. In: 2nd international semantic web conference (ISWC2003), Florida, USA, pp 844–849Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ruy FB, Falbo RA, Barcellos MP, Costa SD, Guizzardi G (2016) SEON: a software engineering ontology network. In: 20th international conference on knowledge engineering and knowledge management (EKAW), Bologna, Italy, pp 527–542Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Sicilia M (2006) Metadata, semantics and ontology: providing meaning to information resources. Int J Metadata Semant Ontol 1(1):83–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Suárez-Figueroa MC, Gómez-Pérez A, Motta E, Gangemi A (2012) Ontology engineering in a networked world. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Talas J, Gregar T, Pitner T (2011) Semantic wiki in environmental project management. In: IFIP advances in information and communication technology, 359 AICT, Brno, Czech Republic, pp 437–444Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Tallis M (2003) Semantic word processing for content authors. In: Knowledge markup and semantic annotation workshop, Florida, USAGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Uren V, Cimiano P, Iria J, Handschuh S, Vargas-Vera M, Motta E et al (2006) Semantic annotation for knowledge management: requirements and a survey of the state of the art. J Web Semant Sci Serv Agents World Wide Web 4:14–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Villalobos J, Sanabria S, Caceres R (2011) Activity scheduling through Gantt charts in an ms excel spreadsheet. Rev Fac Ing 61:132–145Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ontology and Conceptual Modeling Research Group (NEMO), Department of Computer ScienceFederal University of Espírito SantoVitóriaBrazil

Personalised recommendations