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Identifying and Understanding Architectural Risks in Software Evolution: An Empirical Study

  • Odd Petter Nord Slyngstad
  • Jingyue Li
  • Reidar Conradi
  • M. Ali Babar
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5089)

Abstract

Software risk management studies commonly focus on project level risks and strategies. Software architecture investigations are often concerned with the design, implementation and maintenance of the architecture. However, there has been little effort to study risk management in the context of software architecture. We have identified risks and corresponding management strategies specific to software architecture evolution as they occur in industry, from interviews with 16 Norwegian IT-professionals. The most influential (and frequent) risk was “Lack of stakeholder communication affected implementation of new and changed architectural requirements negatively”. The second most frequent risk was “Poor clustering of functionality affected performance negatively”. Architects focus mainly on architecture creation. However, their awareness of needed improvements in architecture evaluation and documentation is increasing. Most have no formally defined/documented architecture evaluation method, nor mention it as a mitigation strategy. Instead, problems are fixed as they occur, e.g. to obtain the missing artefacts.

Keywords

software architecture software evolution risk management software architecture evaluation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Odd Petter Nord Slyngstad
    • 1
  • Jingyue Li
    • 1
  • Reidar Conradi
    • 1
  • M. Ali Babar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information Science (IDI)Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  2. 2.LERO– The Irish Software Engineering CentreUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland

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