Troubleshooting Large-Scale New Product Development Embedded Software Projects

  • Petri Kettunen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4034)


Many modern new product development (NPD) embedded software projects are required to be run under turbulent conditions. Both the business and the technological environments are often volatile. Uncertainty is then an inherent part of the project management. In such cases, traditional detailed up-front planning with supporting risk management is often inadequate, and more adaptive project management tools are needed. This industrial paper investigates the typical problem space of those embedded software projects. Based on a literature survey coupled with our practical experiences, we compose an extensive structured matrix of different potential project problem factors, and propose a method for assessing the project’s problem profile with the matrix. The project manager can then utilize that information for problem-conscious project management. Some industrial case examples of telecommunications products embedded software development are illustrated.


Software Project Problem Matrix Project Risk Problem Item Typical Impact 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Farbman White, S., Melhart, B.E., Lawson, H.W.: Engineering Computer-Based Systems: Meeting the Challenge. IEEE Computer 34(11), 39–43 (2001)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Iansiti, M.: Shooting the Rapids: Managing Product Development in Turbulent Environ-ments. California Management Review 38(1), 37–58 (1995)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    MacCormack, A., Verganti, R., Iansiti, M.: Developing Products on “Internet Time”: The Anatomy of a Flexible Development Process. Management Science 47(1), 133–150 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mullins, J.W., Sutherland, D.J.: New Product Development in Rapidly Changing Markets: An Exploratory Study. Journal of Product Innovation Management 15, 224–236 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Boehm, B.W.: Software Risk Management: Principles and Practices. IEEE Software 8(1), 32–41 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    DeMarco, T., Lister, T.: Walzing with Bears: Managing Risks On Software Projects. Dorset House Publishing, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kontio, J.: Software engineering risk management: a method, improvement framework, and empirical evaluation. Helsinki University of Technology (2001)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Glass, R.L.: Software Runaways. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River (1998)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pavlak, A.: Project Troubleshooting: Tiger Teams for Reactive Risk Management. Project Management Journal 35(4), 5–14 (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kwak, Y.H., Stoddard, J.: Project risk management: lessons learned from software development environment. Technovation 24, 915–920 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sheremata, W.A.: Finding and solving problems in software new product development. Journal of Product Innovation Management 19, 144–158 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Conrow, E.H., Shishido, P.S.: Implementing Risk Management on Software Intensive Projects. IEEE Software 14(3), 83–89 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Evans, M.W., Abela, A.M., Belz, T.: Seven Characteristics of Dysfunctional Software Projects. CrossTalk 15(4), 16–20 (2002)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Houston, D.: Results of Survey on Potential Effects of Major Software Development Risk Factors (1999) (accessed, February 2005),
  15. 15.
    Jones, C.: Patterns of Software System Failure and Success. International Thompson Computer Press, Boston (1996)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    May, L.J.: Major Causes of Software Project Failures. CrossTalk 11(7), 9–12 (1998)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Reel, J.S.: Critical Success Factors In Software Projects. IEEE Software 16(3), 18–23 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Reifer, D.: Ten Deadly Risks in Internet and Intranet Software Development. IEEE Software 19(2), 12–14 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wiegers, K.E.: Know Your Enemy: Software Risk Management (1998), (accessed, February 2005),
  20. 20.
    Brooks Jr., F.P.: The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering. 20th Anniversary Edition. Addison-Wesley, Reading (1995)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Curtis, B., Krasner, H., Iscoe, N.: A Field Study of the Software Design Process for Large Systems. Communications of the ACM 31(11), 1268–1287 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    McConnell, S.: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules. Microsoft Press, Redmond (1996)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    McConnell, S.: Software Project Survival Guide. Microsoft Press, Redmond (1998)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Royce, W.: Software Project Management. Addison-Wesley, Reading (1998)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Brown, S.L., Eisenhardt, K.M.: Product Development: Past Research, Present Findings, and Future Directions. Academy of Management Review 20(2), 343–378 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ropponen, J., Lyytinen, K.: Components of Software Development Risk: How to Address Them? A Project Manager Survey. IEEE Trans. Software Engineering 26(2), 98–111 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Schmidt, R., Lyytinen, K., Keil, M., Cule, P.: Identifying Software Project Risks: An In-ternational Delphi Study. Journal of Management Information Systems 17(4), 5–36 (Spring 2001)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Smith, J.M.: Troubled IT Projects – prevention and turnaround. IEE (2001)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    May, G., Ould, M.: Software project casualty. IEE Engineering Management Journal 12(2), 83–90 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Fairley, R.E., Willshire, M.J.: Why the Vasa Sank: 10 Problems and Some Antidotes for Software Projects. IEEE Software 20(2), 18–25 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Carr, M., Kondra, S., Monarch, I., Ulrich, F., Walker, C.: Taxonomy-Based Risk Identification (Technical Report CMU/SEI-93-TR-6). SEI (1993)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Brown, W.J., McCormick III, H.W., Thomas, S.W.: AntiPatterns in Project Management. John Wiley & Sons, New York (2000)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ould, M.A.: Managing Software Quality and Business Risk. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (1999)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kuvaja, P., Maansaari, J., Seppänen, V., Taramaa, J.: Specific Requirements for Assessing Embedded Product Development. In: Proc. International Conference on Product Focused Software Process Improvement (PROFES), pp. 68–85 (1999)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rauscher, T.G., Smith, P.G.: Time-Driven Development of Software in Manufactured Goods. Journal of Product Innovation Management 12, 186–199 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ronkainen, J., Abrahamsson, P.: Software development under stringent hardware constraints: Do agile methods have a chance? In: Proc. 4th Int’l. Conf. Extreme Programming and Agile Processes in Software Engineering, pp. 73–79 (2003)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kettunen, P.: Managing embedded software project team knowledge. IEE Proc. – Software 150(6), 359–366 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Riek, R.F.: From experience: Capturing hardwon NPD lessons in checklists. Journal of Product Innovation Management 18, 301–313 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Wheelwright, S.C., Clark, K.B.: Revolutionizing Product Development: Quantum Leaps in Speed, Efficiency, and Quality. The Free Press, New York (1992)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Song, X.M., Montoya-Weiss, M.M.: Critical Development Activities for Really New versus Incremental Products. Journal of Product Innovation Management 15, 124–135 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Ernst, H.: Success factors of new product development: a review of the empirical literature. International Journal of Management Reviews 4(1), 1–40 (2002)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Cooper, R.G., Edgett, S.J., Kleinschmidt, E.J.: Benchmarking Best NPD Practices – III. Research. Technology Management 47(6), 43–55 (2004)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Jones, C.: Minimizing the Risks of Software Development. Cutter IT Journal 11(6), 13–21 (1998)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Jones, C.: Software Assessments, Benchmarks, and Best Practices. Addison-Wesley, Reading (2000)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Rautiainen, K., Lassenius, C., Nihtilä, J., Sulonen, R.: Key Issues in New Product Development Controllability Improvement – Lessons Learned from European High-tech Industries. In: Proc. Portland Int’l. Conf. Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET) (1999)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Smith, P.G., Reinertsen, D.G.: Developing Products in Half the Time: New Rules, New Tools. John Wiley & Sons, New York (1998)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Ulrich, K.T., Eppinger, S.D.: Product Design and Development. McGraw-Hill, New York (2000)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Yourdon, E.: Death March – The Complete Software Developer’s Guide to Surviving “Mission Impossible” Projects. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River (1999)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Baccarini, D., Archer, R.: The risk ranking of projects: a methodology. International Journal of Project Management 19, 139–145 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Holmes, M.F., Campbell Jr., R.B.: Product Development Processes: Three Vectors of Improvement. Research ∙ Technology Management 47(4), 47–55 (2004)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Keil, M., Cule, P.E., Lyytinen, K., Schmidt, R.C.: A Framework for Identifying Software Project Risks. Communications of the ACM 41(11), 76–83 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Iversen, J., Nielsen, P.A., Nørbjerg, J.: Situated Assessment of Problems in Software Development. The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems 30(2), 66–81 (Spring 1999)Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Fitzgerald, D.: Principle-Centered Agile Project Portfolio Management. Agile Project Management Advisory Service Executive Report 6(5) (2005) (accessed, June 2005),
  54. 54.
    Takagi, Y., Mizuno, O., Kikuno, T.: An Empirical Approach to Characterizing Risky Software Projects Based on Logistic Regression Analysis. Empirical Software Engineering 10, 495–515 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    De Carlo, D.: Leading Extreme Projects to Success. Agile Project Management Advisory Service Executive Report 5(8) (2004) (accessed, June 2005),
  56. 56.
    Little, T., Greene, F., Phillips, T., Pilger, R., Poldervaart, R.: Adaptive Agility. In: Proc. Agile Development Conference (ADC), pp. 63–70 (2004)Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Kettunen, P., Laanti, M.: How to steer an embedded software project: tactics for selecting the software process model. Information and Software Technology 47(9), 587–608 (2005)Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Kettunen, P., Laanti, M.: How to Steer an Embedded Software Project: Tactics for Selecting Agile Software Process Models. In: Proc. International Conference on Agility (ICAM), pp. 241–257 (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petri Kettunen
    • 1
  1. 1.NOKIA GROUPNokia CorporationFinland

Personalised recommendations