Operational Planning, Re-planning and Risk Analysis for Software Releases
Software release planning takes place on strategic and operational levels. Strategic release planning aims at assigning features to subsequent releases such that technical, resource, risk and budget constraints are met. Operational release planning focuses on the realization of a single software release. Its purpose is to assign resources to feature development tasks such that total release duration is minimized under given process and project constraints. Re-planning becomes necessary on operational level due to addition or deletion of features during release development, or due to changes in the workforce. The allocation of resources to feature development tasks may depend on the accurate estimation of planning parameters such as feature size, developer productivity or development task dependencies. Risk analysis can help assess the vulnerability of a chosen release plan due to these dependencies. This paper presents a simulation-based approach to planning, re-planning and risk analysis of software releases on operational level. The core element of the approach is the process simulation model REPSIM-2 (Release Plan Simulator, Version 2). We describe the functionality of REPSIM-2 and illustrate its usefulness for planning, re-planning and risk analysis through application scenarios.
Keywordssoftware release planning operational planning process simulation risk analysis
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