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
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
- Domain Analysis
- Schematic Design
- Design Development
- Project Documents
- Staffing and Contracting
- 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.
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
- 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.
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
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
SOURCE: CMU SEI Web Site [www.sei.cmu.edu]
ASR Strategic Resources maintains a CMM Level 5 Core Development and
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
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
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 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]
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.