Impact of Process Simulation on Software Practice: An Initial Report

He Zhang, Ross Jeffery, Dan Houston, Liguo Huang, and Liming Zhu
National ICT, Australia; The Aerospace Corporation, USA; Southern Methodist University, USA

Process simulation has become a powerful technology in support of software project management and process improvement over the past decades. This research, inspired by the Impact Project, intends to investigate the technology transfer of software process simulation to the use in industrial settings, and further identify the best practices to release its full potential in software practice. We collected the reported applications of process simulation in software industry, and identified its wide adoption in the organizations delivering various software intensive systems. This paper, as an initial report of the research, briefs a historical perspective of the impact upon practice based on the documented evidence, and also elaborates the research-practice transition by examining one detailed case study. It is shown that research has a significant impact on practice in this area. The analysis of impact trace also reveals that the success of software process simulation in practice highly relies on the association with other software process techniques or practices and the close collaboration between researchers and practitioners.