Monday, July 7, 2008

Product Line Stakeholders - Do you know them?

Managers, Architects, Analysists, Testers, Software Engineers, CEOs...

It was a discussion with RiSE members about who are the stakeholders in a product line approach.

The idea is to define who they are, what they do, and in which phase during the life cycle they participate in the process. We would like to know your opnion based on your research, practical experience or just ideas.


Eduardo Almeida said...

HP has the following ones:

for reuse in general.

Danuza Neiva said...

We identified that the definition of these stakeholders depends of some factors, such as organizational structure, market orientation (Is it addressed to customer or market segment?), development strategy (e.g. if it use COTS, supplier can be a stakeholder). In order to standardize different context, it is important to define who are core and variable stakeholders and use stakeholders pattern (common term) with representation of its relationship or dependency (e.g. generalization, variability, hierarchy). Thus, in each product line, stakeholders could be easily instantiated.

Some practices can be adopted to help the instantiation, such as:
- Defining the potential stakeholders (individuals who have a direct interest and could affect the SPL development), their responsibilities and needs.
- Classifying stakeholders. Who are the providers and client of information? Who is external to organization? Who is internal to project team, but internal to the organization? Who are the decision-makers?

We would like to know more opinions. For example, who are core stakeholders in a SPL? Is there always domain expert?

Eduardo Almeida said...

Danuza, you mentioned some important points. I think that one important issue is that all the involved people understand your role and why is that necessary. Thus, to define the point of view is alto critical because diferent involved people such as CFO ("I would like to reduce costs), CTO ("I would like to release more product in the market"), Designer ("I would like to design this architecure with low complexity") have different motivations and activities. So, it should be connected with the approach to start the SPL as well as monitor it.

Thiago Burgos said...

I think there is a lack of any work going into this direction. We can find some works discussing about stakeholders in requirements engineering of a SPL Process, but overall stakeholders discussions is more difficult to find.

The complexity of defining a set of core Stakeholders for a SPL is due to different types of product lines, diffretent types of processes being followed, as well as organizational structure.

Maybe we may never have a core set of stakelholders (unless we map every "type" of SPL), but we of course should have a list of the possible stakeholders to be instantiated in a SPL envinroment.

A separation of overall stakeholders and phase specific stakeholders should also exist.

Maybe this discussion can be the kick off to this stakeholders list (with relationships, responsabilities, classification and needs) defition