The Army Strategic Software Improvement Program (ASSIP) is a
multiyear effort targeted at dramatically improving the way in which
the Army acquires software-intensive systems. It is predicated on the
idea that better acquisition practices will lead to better systems and
overall results. During the past five years, the Army has funded a
number of programs, in conjunction with the Software Engineering
Institute, to conduct software architecture evaluations using the
Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM). During the same period,
several other programs funded their own ATAM evaluations. With the Army
taking a leadership role among the U.S. armed services in applying
architecture practices to its programs, it seemed natural to inquire
about the value received.
This presentation describes the results of a study of the impact of
software architecture practices conducted with Army programs. All
twelve programs that employed the ATAM responded to a questionnaire
that addressed the impact of conducting the ATAM, follow-on ATAM
activities, adoption of the ATAM as part of program practices, and the
overall value of the engagement.
The majority of respondents to the survey indicated they received some
measure of value from the ATAM evaluation conducted for their programs.
Exact quantification of that value in terms of dollars is difficult
because the focus of the ATAM is risk reduction, which is a cost
avoidance. However, by gauging respondents’ views and actions
throughout the ATAM engagement, a picture of overall estimated value
begins to emerge. The presenters will show how the findings benefit the
broader software architecture community and will provide their
recommendations for collecting data and assessing impact for future
ATAMs conducted in any context.