SERT Software Engineering ReThought (start 2018 – ongoing)

SERT – Software Engineering ReThought is a groundbreaking research project with the aim to take on the next generation challenges facing companies developing software intensive systems and products. SERT are blazing the road introducing 3:rd generation empirical software engineering – denoting close co-production of pragmatic problem solving in close collaboration with our industrial partners as we perform engineering research into topics critical for engineering and business success.

SERTs formulation of 3:rd generation empirical software engineering will utilize related knowledge areas as catalysts to solve challenges. Value-based engineering, Data-driven evidence based engineering, and Human-based development will complement software engineering competence in an integrated eco-system of competence focused on the challenges at hand.

All areas in software engineering, ranging from inception, realization to evolution are part of the research venture – reflecting that companies need solutions covering their entire ecosystem.  

Read more about SERT at

– PROMPT Academic courses for Industrial competence development (Start 2013 – ongoing)

Software is a business-critical resource for large parts of Swedish private enterprise and an important source of innovation and competitiveness. In cooperation with academia and industry we have established PROMPT, a national education alternative with the aim of guaranteeing the supply of software-related advanced skills and innovative power for Swedish private enterprise.

PROMPT is a collaboration between BTH, Mälardalen University, Chalmers, the University of Gothenburg and RISE SICS and a number of leading Swedish industrial companies and organizations. The project is funded by the Knowledge Foundation and by participating universities and companies.

PROMPT provides customized, free education for engineers and software developers. The university courses, 22 in total, are web-based and developed to suit professionals who need to be able to combine work and studies. All courses are on master’s level and have been produced in close cooperation with companies involved in the project.

Read more about PROMPT at

– PLEng Professional Licentiate of Engineering School (2013 – ongoing)

PLEng (Professional Licentiate of Engineering School) is a concept of integrated research school that enables the industry to develop skills-based specialists and objective problem solvers. The research school, which is conducted for 3 years part-time, focuses on developing applied research and innovative solutions to specific problems. Participants in PLEng’s combine their research studies in parallel with work in their respective companies, which means a more flexible form compared with traditional research studies. During their time in the research school, they are given the opportunity to delve into an area for an extended period to build skills and develop new ideas.

Read more about PLEng

– ERSAK & KREDA (Trafikverket)(2015- ongoing)

ERSAK and KREDA 2015-2019 are two research projects with the goal of improving requirements management at the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket). 

ERSAK aims at developing and streamlining regulatory frameworks, regulatory requirements and project requirements, through improved specification, analysis, and communication, with the goal of improving both efficiency and effectiveness in projects through improved requirements management.

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KREDA develops tools for systematic requirements management and requirements databases, to achieve more efficient requirements management and take advantage of the new opportunities that arise from Trafikverket’s work to digitize their business.

– Software Value Analysis (Telenor)(start 2013-ongoing)

The implementation of “agile” methodologies promises waste reduction and improved time-to-market as well as customer satisfaction. However, there is a danger of sub optimization as waste on a project level might not be waste on product level. In addition, maximizing value as customer satisfaction goes beyond short term feature selection. This AGILE/LEAN project is under startup, but involves scaling AGILE and LEAN methodologies up to be able to handle large organizations with complex product development with distributed engineering. As an example we are looking at finding a balance between agility and long-term maintainability, but the project handles the entire product development cycle.

– Software Value Analysis (Ericsson)(start 2009-ongoing)

Re-defining how software is valued. This involved the creation of the Software Value Map, value patterns and themes to support product development at Ericsson. [download poster]

Keywords: Value based software engineering, product management, requirements engineering, decision support, measurement, reuse.

– Global Engineering (Daimler AG)(start 2009-ongoing)

Daimler AG faces many challenges and a complex product development environment spread over global partners. Excellence in handling and optimizing distributed development includes GSE practices, models, but also statistical factor analysis to measure feature coherence.

Keywords: Global Software Engineering, Automotive, Factor Analysis, Reuse, Refactoring.

– Value and Innovation BESQ+ (IBM, Ericsson, Qtema)(start 2011-ongoing)

In the value context, companies need to estimate total cost of ownership and total value of ownership for a software product or a feature, which enables a cost basis for determining the economic value of that product or feature. This requires estimating total direct capital investment in hardware and software plus indirect costs of installation, training, maintenance, downtime, technical support, and upgrading. These estimations will help in making decisions that are better for value creation. This calls for a radical reinvention of the value term to include all perspectives of software value, ranging from what implication a decision today has on the architecture, sustainability, innovation and quality, to user perspectives like usability and user experience.

Keywords: Value based software engineering, product management, requirements engineering, decision support, measurement, innovation.

– Verification and Requirements Engineering EASE  (Axis)(start 2011-ongoing)

Adaptive Framework for Streamlined Requirements and Test Co-optimization involves the utilization of natural overlap between requirements and test to achieve a minimal overlap and waste by using variation selection aspects. Variations depend on e.g. domain, criticality, time-to-market etc, making it possible to choose what type of requirements engineering and tests to perform in relation to the needs and goals of the organization. Variation selection aspects can be used on company, product or even feature level to adapt what is done to assure good-enough for purpose.

Keywords: Verification and Validation, Requirements Engineering, Taxonomy, Co-optimization.

– Lean Software Development (Volvo PV)(start 2008-ongoing)

Introduce lean software product development focusing on complex automotive projects. This project has thus far mapped challenges in the boundary between product development, software development, and production to an extremely detailed extent. The continuation is to add automotive lean to software development, and enhance the lean standard, enabling effective and efficient collaboration in product development.

Keywords: Lean / Streamline / Agile, Automotive, Process Assessment and Improvement, Project Management, Automotive Software


Software Process Improvement and Technical Product Management

Market-driven Requirements Engineering

Market-Driven Requirements Engineering (MDRE) handles the continuous flow of requirements in an engineering effort, and is not limited to a development instance but part of technical product management as a whole. The market-driven environment generates large amounts of requirements from multiple sources, internal and external, threatening to overload the technical management of products. MDRE involves requirements analysis, resource estimation, prioritization, and ultimately release planning. These activities allow for effectively deciding which customers get what features and quality at what point in time, making the accuracy and efficiency of MDRE a major determinant of the success of a product.

This thesis presents research aimed at supporting technical product management in MDRE, based on needs identified in industry. One contribution of the thesis is the development and validation of a process assessment and improvement planning framework, making the identification of process improvement issues possible. The major characteristics of the framework can be described as resource efficiency and relative accuracy by utilizing multiple perspectives and data point triangulation. As a complement to the assessment, the improvement planning enables industry professionals to focus their efforts on one improvement package at a time, supporting step-by-step evolution with less time to return on investment. 

Challenges identified during process assessment using the framework resulted in the development of the Requirements Abstraction Model (RAM), which is the central contribution of the thesis. RAM employs multiple levels of abstraction for requirements elicitation, analysis, refinement and management. The model offers the possibility for early requirements triage using product strategies/roadmaps, as well as supporting a structured and repeatable way to perform continuous requirements engineering. This enables product managers to specify requirements that can be traced across abstraction levels, from abstract requirements that can be used by managers, to refined requirements specific enough to be used for estimation and input to development efforts. 

RAM was engineered based on industry needs, validated and refined through several empirical evaluations, utilizing both academia and industry as laboratory. This involved close collaboration with industrial partners, Danaher Motion Särö AB and ABB Robotics, where the model was introduced. Monitoring the process improvement (introduction of RAM) indicated substantial improvements, both in accuracy of the work performed using RAM, and in the quality of the requirements produced, with only moderate increase in effort.

Another contribution in the thesis is a compilation of lessons learned from practical hands-on experience of technology and knowledge transfer from academia to industry, with focus of producing industry relevant usable and useful results. 

The main contribution of the thesis is improving the practice of product management by providing and evaluating frameworks for software process improvement and market-driven requirements engineering. The results of the research presented in the thesis are aimed at supporting technical product management taking the unique challenges of market-driven development into account. 

This is an abstract of my PhD thesis which gives an introduction to the areas of Process assessment, process improvement, requirements engineering, and of course market-driven requirements engineering. This area is especially relevant for product managers.

[–>download thesis]


The Market Driven Requirements Engineering Process Maturity Model project

Many software companies still struggle in establishing processes that lead to proper requirements handling. When these companies perform in a market-driven fashion, the situation aggravates, since concerns like strong market and strategic orientation must be taken into consideration along with the traditional technical concerns of development and verification. 

It has been shown in many case studies that companies are aware of the need to improve their requirements handling processes. However, most of them have difficulties to get started given the broad scope that this task entails. For these companies, we have developed the Market-Driven Requirements Engineering Process Model (MDREPM). The MDREPM is both a collection of good practices in market driven requirements engineering (MDRE), and an assessment tool for companies to get a snapshot of the current state of their MDRE practices. The assessment intends to reveal problem areas of organization’s requirements process in a cost-effective manner. The results can then be analyzed, and improvement efforts started by introducing good practices described in the model.

The MDREPM acknowledges the inter-disciplinary nature of software product development, thereby offering practices useful for strategic planning, marketing, product management, release planning, development and verification. 

The model has been validated in industry, in a series of 3 cases studies performed in big telecommunication companies in Sweden. In the case studies, the model was found to be useful given the good coverage it provides of issues related to MDRE, as well as for driving software process improvement in that area.

Model download. Here you can download the entire model. Observe the different versions.

[–> uniREPM, version 0.9CR (candidate release)]