Design rationale capture in the globalised enterprise: an industrial study

Nkwocha, Ann; Hall, Jon G. and Rapanotti, Lucia (2010). Design rationale capture in the globalised enterprise: an industrial study. In: 5th IARIA International Conference on Software Engineering Advances (ICSEA), 22-27 Aug 2010, Nice, France.


Design rationale in software engineering fills in the gaps between the original requirements of a system and the finished product encompassing decisions, constraints and other information that influenced the outcome. Existing research corroborates the importance of design rationale to capture knowledge assets, particularly in the context of the global enterprise, with its increased risk of knowledge loss through staff movement and attrition. Despite this, the practice of design rationale capture and reuse is not as extensive as could be expected mainly due to time and budget constraints and lack of standards and tools. In this paper we report on and industrial study which tested the hypothesis that an emerging design approach – Problem Oriented Engineering (POE) – enables the capture of design rationale as the methodological by-product of software engineering activities, hence potentially addresses concerns over cost effectiveness of in situ design rationale capture. The results are encouraging, providing an early indication that using POE for solving software problems in an industrial setting may allow the capture of design rationale with no additional effort needed.

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