Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
SEI Podcast Series
03/08/2016

Quality Attribute Refinement and Allocation

Neil Ernst

Summary

We know from existing SEI work on attribute-driven design, Quality Attribute Workshops, and the Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method that a focus on quality attributes prevents costly rework. Such a long-term perspective, however, can be hard to maintain in a high-tempo, agile delivery model, which is why the SEI continues to recommend an architecture-centric engineering approach, regardless of the software methodology chosen. As part of our work in value-driven incremental delivery, we conducted exploratory interviews with teams in these high-tempo environments to characterize how they managed architectural quality attribute requirements (QARs). These requirements—such as performance, security, and availability—have a profound impact on system architecture and design, yet are often hard to divide, or slice, into the iteration-sized user stories common to iterative and incremental development. This difficulty typically exists because some attributes, such as performance, touch multiple parts of the system. In this podcast, Neil Ernst discusses research on slicing (refining) performance in two production software systems and ratcheting (periodic increase of a specific response measure) of scenario components to allocate QAR work.

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Categories: Software Architecture

About the Speaker

Neil Ernst