Software Development
ASR Strategic Resources

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An important consideration in selecting a business partner is understanding the business processes and formal standards used by the prospective partner.
ASR Strategic Resources has a mature development process that meets industry standard best practices. We commit significant resources in research and development to promote process evolution and to maintain our leadership status.

Architecture Driven

ASR Strategic Resources practices Architecture-Driven Enterprise Software Development and Integration (ADESDI). Our Information Technology enterprise development is comprised of both software development and software integration activities. Our enterprise architecture doctrine recognizes eight core activities:

  • Pre-Design
  • Domain Analysis
  • Schematic Design
  • Design Development
  • Project Documents
  • Staffing and Contracting
  • Construction
  • Post Construction

The management and execution of these eight ADESDI activities is facilitated by a framework of industry standard best practices. The Auldenfire Atelier is an essential methodology for executing these activities in a nonlinear, iterative manner that reflects continuous improvement within our software development process. When individuals and organizations work together, shared practices are essential for success, which is why standards play a significant role in our development strategy. Our experience in mission critical development has driven our interest in, and adoption of, formal processes and methodologies. We take the view that successful software development and integration is not merely an art - it is a science. It can be measured. It can be evaluated. It can be predicted. It can be improved.

Defined Process

Software development and integration is a discipline whose practitioners must be educated and experienced in the technologies, business issues, and economic factors that impact an enterprise. Significant shifts in software development are taking place that create new challenges:

  • Outsourced development and support - often to workers in different countries
  • Adopting COTS based solutions
  • The need to build distributed, resilient infrastructures
  • Multicultural issues inherent in a global work force

For a development and integration organization to succeed, solid management practices, engineering practices, and technology adoption practices are essential. Standard practices help different individuals and organizations work together through shared vocabularies and expectations. ASR Strategic Resources has adopted a number of professional practices based around Carnegie Mellon University's (CMU) Software Engineering Institute (SEI), the Software Process Improvement (SPI) Laboratory at Texas A&M University (TAMU), and professional organizations such as the IEEE, ACM, and AITP. SEI, in particular, has made major advances in recent years, which have greatly contributed to and influenced our enterprise development evolution.

Process Improvement

Our software measurement process for project control and process improvement are based around three core cycles:

  • Control Cycle
  • Metric Gathering Cycle
  • Improvement Cycle

The three cycles operate in parallel and are synchronized through the Project Attribute Monitoring and Prediction Associate (PAMPA) visualization stage. This Dual Control/Improvement Cycle model was developed by SPI and is based on the SEI Spiral Model and Capability Maturity Model. ASR Strategic Resources adopted this approach formally in 1998 and has implemented a number of enhancements based on our real-world experiences in managing full life-cycle software development and integration programs and projects.

Management Practices

Capability Maturity Model (CMM)

The Capability Maturity Model (CMM) provides a framework for improving the software development and integration process through the entire development life-cycle. CMM also provides a mechanism to evaluate an organization's software development processes and key practices of development.

The Software CMM has become a de facto standard for assessing and improving software processes. Through the SW-CMM, the SEI and community have put in place an effective means for modeling, defining, and measuring the maturity of the processes used by software professionals.
SOURCE: CMU SEI Web Site [www.sei.cmu.edu]

ASR Strategic Resources maintains a CMM Level 5 Core Development and Integration practice.

High Performance Teams

High Performance Teams (HPT) are essential to effective and efficient Rapid Software Development (RSD) practices pioneered by Microsoft and described in Rapid Application Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules by Steve McConnell, (Microsoft Press, 1996). HPT provides a roadmap that guides both individuals and teams in adopting RSD within the CMM framework. ASR Strategic Resources has found that personal and team development need a managed, disciplined approach - especially with regard to building and maintaining a balanced team.

Engineering Practices

Spiral Development

The Spiral Development Process (SDP), as adopted by ASR Strategic Resources, has been influenced by the PAMPA Dual Control/Improvement Cycle model, the Object-Oriented Software Process (OOSP), and our internally developed Auldenfire Atelier. The Spiral Model drives the choice of software development activities through risk evaluations. ASR Strategic Resources has found that an architecture-driven approach is also required. The Auldenfire Atelier integrates both architecture driven and OOSP risk mitigation concerns within a CMM development framework. Core to the Auldenfire Atelier framework is the recognition that at a macro level, software development is linear (resembles a waterfall model); while at a micro level, software development tends to be more iterative. ASR Strategic Resources has a successful track record of applying our improved Spiral Development process to large-scale, global enterprise development programs.

Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Based Systems (CBS)

COTS Based Systems (CBS) are increasingly being utilized as components within the enterprise. CBS offers an economy of scale when compared to custom built solutions; however, vendor product cycles are designed to generate consistent revenue on a cyclical basis. With CBS product life-cycles averaging two years, this can pose a major concern for an organization with regard to integration with other enterprise components (especially if customizations have been performed) and product support for older versions of a COTS application. A proper CBS policy can help an organization use COTS products in its IT enterprise strategy, which can provide cost savings in terms of development, shorter integration life-cycles, and a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Proper management of the CBS integration process is critical to achieving these benefits.

Survivable Systems

Survivable Systems Practices (SSP) are essential. Security issues extend beyond the Internet - physical security, disaster preparedness, counter-terrorism, and internal security are just a few of the issues that impact an organization. ASR Strategic Resources maintains ongoing research and development activities related to enterprise IT security issues. Security plays a major role in our architectural and implementation strategies.

Architecture Tradeoff Analysis

Architecture Tradeoff Analysis (ATA) is an important aspect of an effective reuse - before buy - before build strategy. Analyzing requirements to map functionality to enterprise components can be a daunting challenge. COTS applications often have overlaps, which need to be carefully mapped out. Tradeoffs between best-of-breed and good enough become common. Different development teams need to coordinated to avoid duplication of functionality across components. In an architecture driven development process, the architecture needs to control the design.

Software architecture forms the backbone for building successful software-intensive systems. A system's quality attributes are largely permitted or precluded by its architecture. Architecture represents a capitalized investment, an abstract reusable model that can be transferred from one system to the next. Architecture represents a common vehicle for communication among a system's stakeholders, and is the arena in which conflicting goals and requirements are mediated.
SOURCE: CMU SEI Web Site [www.sei.cmu.edu]

Technology Adoption

Software Technology Adoption

Software Technology Adoption (STA) is a process that requires attention to detail, discipline, and an architectural focus. Implementation choices need to be validated by experts. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is directly influenced not only by the technologies and applications that are chosen for an enterprise solution, but also by how the development and integration teams execute the implementation. Reinventing the wheel, not realizing that another application component - or even a platform already provides a given functionality are common problems faced by the enterprise. A team is only as good as its members. The transition to new technology forces change on an organization. Often, the outcomes that result from change are difficult to predict. In the face of change, management needs to rely on proven processes, methodologies, and business practices that are designed to manage change while mitigating the risks associated with change.

World Class Teams

Building the teams that build the future - your future, is our mission.

A team of world class players does not make a world class team.

ASR Strategic Resources develops software and the infrastructure required to support the enterprise. Our experience is gained from internal software development projects that support our own products and by working on client software development projects. Our teams stay together. Our teams maintain their collective knowledge. Our software development process is proven, reliable, and repeatable. Our people make the difference.

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